GLOBAL professional recruitment firm Robert Walters shrugged off a weak European economy and falling euro to register a strong upturn in profitability.
Gross profits in the three months ending March jumped 12 per cent from a year earlier to £53.9m. Fee income in the UK jumped by 22 per cent.
“It’s pleasing to see growth in all areas – the UK particularly,” company chief executive Robert Walters told City A.M.
“We haven’t seen any slowdown because of the election in the UK.”
The company’s management now expects profit for the year to be ahead of current market expectations.
It comes despite a loss in revenues due to the falling value of the euro. In constant currency terms, gross profit from Eurozone countries rose 12 per cent on the year. However, once the euros are converted to pounds, gross profit is up only one per cent.
Slower economic growth in the Eurozone has not held the firm back. In France, for example, permanent hires remain weak, but more temporary contracts are boosting the firms income. Japan is also proving to be a reliable market due to a shortage of skilled bilingual candidates. Emerging markets such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand are boosting fee incomes as well.
“The strong growth in net fee income, coupled with our ongoing focus on increasing consultant productivity has enabled the group to continue to benefit from operational gearing. The board is therefore confident that profit for the year will be ahead of current market expectations,” Walters said.