Robert Walters shares at record high after reporting profit surge

 
Jasper Jolly
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Manchester was a strong performer for Robert Walters during the third quarter (Source: Getty)

Shares in Robert Walters surged today after the specialist recruitment group revealed another strong quarter with profits jumping across every region.

Robert Walters, eponymous chief executive of the firm, said the board is “confident that profit before tax for the full year will be ahead of current market expectations”.

That confident tone pushed the share price of the London-listed recruiter up by almost 10 per cent to an all-time high, making it the strongest performer on the FTSE today.

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Group net fee income rose by 21 per cent year-on-year when discounting exchange rate effects in the quarter to the end of September, it announced today.

The recruiter’s profit surge was particularly strong outside the firm’s core regions (including North America, Brazil, the Middle East and South Africa) where net fee income rose by 71 per cent year-on-year.

Growth was also impressive in Europe, where profits rose by 31 per cent, while in Asia Pacific and the UK profits rose by 14 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

Within the UK St Albans and Manchester were “stand-out performers”, the firm said. There was also little sign of a hangover from last year’s Brexit vote, which caused an initial slowdown for the firm after the June 2016 result.

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Walters said: “Growth was broad-based across permanent, contract, interim and recruitment process outsourcing.”

The third-quarter record followed the record second quarter reported in July, when profits rose by 16 per cent on a constant currency basis.

The strong earnings momentum should carry over into next year, according to analysts at brokerage Liberum, reflecting “a number of structural opportunities across a number of its key regions”.

The firm also has an “attractive” outsourcing business, they added, while the addition of more than 200 staff during the quarter reflected expansions in Europe and Asia.

Read more: UK jobs rebuffed Brexit woes in July

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