Thursday 30 July 2020 10:00 am

Robert Walters sees profit slump 80 per cent amid coronavirus

Recruitment group Robert Walters suffered an 80 per cent drop in pre-tax profit in the first half of the year after all of its operations regions were “significantly impacted” by the coronavirus pandemic.

The figures

Robert Walters’s profit before tax slumped 79 per cent to £4.3m in the six months ended 30 June, from £20.9m a year earlier.

Its revenue dropped 22 per cent to £496.4m from £634.5m compared to the same period in 2019.

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Basic earnings per share slumped 82 per cent to 3.9p from 21.7p in the first half of last year.

Asia Pacific net fee income was down 21 per cent to £63.9m. Operating profit slumped 71 per cent to £2.9m from £10m a year earlier.

In Europe, net fee income fell 18 per cent to £44.5m and operating profit crashed 81 per cent to £1.5m from £7.7m.

What Robert Walters said

Robert Walters, namesake and chief executive of the firm, said: “The Covid-19 global pandemic presented the Group with an unprecedented set of challenges to navigate during the first six months of the year.” 

“Current trading is in line with market expectations for the full year, albeit visibility remains limited. 

“There is a clear correlation between the easing of lockdown restrictions and positive movement in recruitment activity indicators, however, the fluid and volatile nature of the pandemic does mean that the risk of infection spikes and a return to lockdown remains a reality.

“Our pre-Covid investment in technology and innovation coupled with prudent cost management has enabled the business to remain profitable and gain market share through this extraordinary period.”