FINANCIALS: Robert Walters releases trading update

Pre-Covid-19 investment in technology ensured that Robert Walters employees remained productive during the pandemic, the company revealed in its Q2 trading update today [9 July].

In addition to the previous technology investment – which included all consultants having been equipped with tablets enabling “a seamless transition to remote working”, video CV, interviewing and communications platforms already in place – the company credited a strong cost reduction and control measures throughout the quarter for mitigating the pandemic’s impact on the business.

The group’s cost base had been reduced by 19% as of 1 July, including executive director salary reductions of 20%, voluntary reduced working hour schemes for employees globally and reductions in all discretionary spending, the trading update said.

Group headcount fell by 5%, or 201 employees, during the quarter through the end of June.

At the same time, UK net fee income was down 34% in the second quarter of the year, with activity levels in UK regions, while “significantly down year-on-year” stronger than in London, the company said. 

“Market conditions were challenging across the UK,” the company said.

Elsewhere:

  • Asia Pacific NFI was down 35%
  • Europe NFI was down 32%
  • Other international NFI (the Americas, Middle East and South Africa) was down 36%.

Group NFI for Q2 was £71.1m, compared to £106.4m at the same time last year.

CEO Robert Walters said: “Given the fluid and volatile nature of the global pandemic including the inherent risk of infection spikes and localised lockdowns, our forward visibility remains limited. That said, current trading is in line with market consensus for the full year.”

The group will publish its half-yearly results for the six months ended 30 June of this year on 30 July.

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