Asia boosts Robert Walters

BRITISH recruitment firm Robert Walters has posted a 23 per cent increase in first–half net fees, boosted by international growth.

Markets outside the UK contributed 74 per cent to its net fee income, with the company’s Asia Pacific business growing 29 per cent.

Both China and Thailand enjoyed a doubling of net fee income, after Robert Walters committed to focusing expansion in markets offering the best prospects for growth.

The European market also boasted strong growth at 34 per cent, a figure underpinned by France, the firm’s largest business in the region. The company has said that additional offices in Indonesia, Taiwan and Germany are planned during the second half of the year to exploit the growing international market.

Rival recruiter Hays reported sluggish conditions in the UK market, but Robert Walters posted a six per cent rise in domestic net fee income.

The accountancy, engineering and IT recruitment specialist, now valued at £240m, has boosted its interim dividend by five per cent. Its shares dropped 1.4 per cent yesterday, outperforming the FTSE All-Share.