Asia slump hits Robert Walters profit growth

Marion Dakers
RECRUITMENT group Robert Walters saw its shares drop 6.9 per cent yesterday after it cautioned that the slump in Asia’s banking sector was damaging its growth.

The group’s gross profit fell three per cent to £47.6m in the second quarter of the year, dragged down by a five per cent dip in Asia Pacific, where the recruiter generates around half of its earnings.

Performance in the UK was flat, with profits of £12.1m, while France and Germany both produced net fee income growth. But overall earnings in Europe fell five per cent to £10m, due to the euro’s slide.

In the Americas and South Africa region, where Robert Walters has opened offices in Rio de Janeiro and San Francisco in recent months, profits rose four per cent to £1.6m.

“We have delivered a stable performance against a backdrop of deteriorating conditions in the global financial markets,” said founder Robert Walters.

“We will continue to maintain our presence in the territories where market conditions are challenging, whilst also investing in the business for the long term to take advantage of growth opportunities in new and emerging markets.”