SHARES in British recruiting giant Robert Walters surged 11 per cent in trading yesterday, after the company forecasted better-than-expected profits for the full year ended 31 December.
The multinational mid-market recruiter pointed to strong trading across all it markets in the first couple of months of the quarter as a reason for the boosted forecast.
The firm said in a statement: “The board of Robert Walters announces that as a result of strong trading across all of the group’s regions in the first two months of the fourth quarter, the profit for the full year ending 31 December 2014 is expected to be materially ahead of market expectations.”
It was the third time this year that Robert Walters had raised its full year estimates.
The firm said in July that profits would be in the upper end of market expectations, and subsequently announced in October that full-year profits would be ahead of expectations.
The surge in the company’s stock also made it one of the top gainers on the London Stock Exchange in trading yesterday. The share price finished the day 11.3 per cent up at 304p.
Panmure Gordon analysts Adrian Kearsey and Paul Jones switched the recommendation from “hold” to “buy” at the news, saying: “An unexpected update from Robert Walters reveals trading for the current year much better than anticipated, and we upgrade accordingly. We believe improvements are across the board in terms of geography, though mainly permanent rather than temporary – which bodes well for market confidence going forwards and suggests an on-going improved outlook.”
Robert Walters operates 53 offices in 24 countries worldwide. It specialises in the placement of professionals across the industries of accountancy and finance, banking, engineering, HR, IT, legal, sales and marketing, secretarial and support, and supply chain and procurement.
The recruiter’s eponymous chief executive, Robert Walters, told City A.M. in October that he expected real-term pay to rise next year – at least in financial services, where a shortage of skills may push up wages.