Shares in Robert Walters have risen 3.95 per cent on the FTSE All-Share, after it reported results ahead of expectations today.
The recruitment specialists has announced fourth-quarter profits of £95.1m after a record December performance.
The group enjoyed a 39 per cent year-on-year boost in net fee income, with earnings 48 per cent higher in the Asia-Pacific region, its biggest market.
Japan and Australia, the two largest and most profitable businesses in the region, continued to deliver excellent performances for the firm, with net fee income increasing by 63 per cent and 40 per cent respectively year-on-year.
Permanent and interim recruitment activity were the strongest drivers of growth as organisations continued to hire for the longer-term, amid a flurry of post-lockdown activity.
Contract and recruitment process outsourcing also grew very well, reflecting the strength of the end- to-end recruitment market.
In Europe, net fees increased by 28 per cent to £27m, with strong growth across the region in its two largest markets, France and the Netherlands.
It also reported significant increases in net fee income in Belgium, Spain and Germany, however its performance in the UK was more muted, with only a seven per cent rise in net fee income on the previous year.
Candidate shortages continued to drive heightened competition for talent across both London and the regions with the legal, commerce, finance and technology disciplines particularly active.
Alongside its regional results, Robert Walters has reported continued investment in headcount across all markets and disciplines, with the headcount rising a further three per cent to 3,484.
The balance sheet also looks healthy, with net cash of £126m as of 31 December 2021.
The group also has a £60m committed loan facility until 2024.
Robert Walters, chief executive, said: “We are seeing candidate shortages across all locations and disciplines, a fierce competition for talent and wage inflation kicking in which together create huge opportunities across the recruitment market. Group net fee income for the full year was up 21 per cent. Following a strong quarter including a record December, trading is now comfortably ahead of current profit expectations.”
The group will publish full year results on 8 March 2022.