- The London-listed company showed net fee income jumped 26% to £112m.
- The annual earnings are now expected to be “in line” with current market expectations.
- Demand for staff positions was particularly strong in the Asia-Pacific region.
Profits for professional recruiter Robert Walters soared in the third quarter on the continued strength of a hyper-competitive global job market.
In the three months ended September 30, the London-listed company’s net fee and commission income rose 26% year-over-year to £112m as it saw growth across all forms of headhunting.
Having already delivered better-than-expected numbers in the second quarter, the business now expects full-year earnings to be “in line” with current market expectations.
Profit for the professional recruiter soared in the third quarter as a hyper-competitive global job market allowed the recruiter to keep up with full-year forecasts.
Robert Walters shares rose more than 5% to trade at 515.30 around 9 am on Tuesday after the release of upbeat results.
The specialized financial and business recruiting service is looking for professionals in the accounting, banking, engineering, human resources, IT and legal sectors.
It was also announced that Leslie Van de Walle, who is currently a non-executive director of HSBC, has been appointed non-executive chairman and will join the board on November 1.
Van de Walle said: “I am delighted to be back with the Robert Walters group as chairman.
“I really enjoyed working with the Board of Directors and the executive team during my previous tenure with the Group and am looking forward to getting started. The hiring industry is so dynamic and rapidly evolving that it’s a privilege to work with one of the industry’s flagships again.”
Widespread labor shortages, combined with high levels of voluntary layoffs and rising wages, have led to a scramble to hire new talent and provided a financial boon for the hiring sector.
Retail has received an additional boost from the shift to hybrid work: earlier this year, Robert Walters observed that companies are becoming more “location independent” and relying on virtual platforms to decide who to hire.
He noted that demand for full-time positions was particularly strong in the Asia-Pacific region, where fee and commission income rose 16% to £53.6m from £44.4m in 2021.
CEO and Founder Robert Walters said: “The more volatile political and economic environment in the UK has impacted local market confidence, resulting in lower net fee income in the UK compared to last year.”
In constant currency, fee and commission income doubled in Taiwan, more than halved in Indonesia, and rose 20% and 11%, respectively, in Asia’s two largest markets, Japan and Australia.
In Japan and Australia, net fee income increased by 23% and 16%, respectively.
Elsewhere in the region, Taiwan (up 46%), Indonesia (up 45%), Thailand (up 32%) and New Zealand (up 29%) saw the fastest growth in net fee income.
Meanwhile, net fee and commission income in mainland China was down 25% year-on-year due to “market conditions impacting the recent strict Covid restrictions.”
In the UK, net income was down 6% year-on-year to £17.6m from £18.7m in 2021, which was attributed to “more challenging market conditions for both tech hiring and regarding resource solutions.
Commenting on the results, CEO and Founder Robert Walters said: “The macro backdrop became increasingly uncertain as the quarter progressed.
“However, the flow of jobs remained largely strong, the shortage of candidates remained acute, wage inflation continued to rise; and the Group’s net fee and commission income increased by 18% year-on-year. Currently, 84% of the Group’s net fee and commission income comes from our international operations.
“Asia-Pacific and Europe, the Group’s largest regions, continued to show strong growth and we are also encouraged that our small businesses in the Americas and the Middle East are performing well.
“A more volatile political and economic situation in the UK has impacted local market confidence, resulting in lower net fee income in the UK compared to last year.
“Full year earnings are expected to be in line with current market expectations.”
Robert Walters, founded in 1985, currently has over 3,700 employees in 27 countries.
The firm specializes in employing professionals in accounting and finance, banking, engineering, human resources, information technology, law, sales and marketing, supply chain and purchasing.
The Group will publish operating information for the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2022 on 10 January 2023.
Credit: www.thisismoney.co.uk /