FINANCIALS: Robert Walters announces ‘record’ first-half performance

Global recruitment firm Robert Walters has experienced a “record” first-half performance to the half-year ended 30 June 2021, delivering a four-fold increase in pre-tax profits year-on-year.

The company announced today (27 July 2021) that gross profit in the first half of 2021 amounts to £166.2m, compared to £158.5m for H1 2020, a +5% change, but an 8% increase in constant currency terms. Operating profit for H1 2021 was £24.1m in sharp contrast to the £4.2m of 2020’s first half, a 478% increase this year.

Profit before taxation was £22.1m in this year’s first half, compared with £4.3m in 2020.

Basic earnings per share in 2021 were 20.9p, compared to 3.9p in 2020.

Other highlights of the financial results announcement were:

  • A note that wage inflation is returning as demand for talent outstrips supply.
  • 79% of the group’s net fee income (NFI) is now derived from its international businesses, with its largest region, Asia Pacific, accounting for 45% of the group’s NFI.
  • Europe’s NFI was up 2% (3% in constant currency) over H1 2020 to £45.2m and operating profit up 326% to £6.2m.
  • UK NFI was down 3% to £35.2m from £36.3m in H1 2020 but operating profit increased significantly to £3.3m this year from £0m in H1 2020.
  • Group headcount was down by 13% year-on-year to 3,230 from 3,734 last year. However, the company said it expects to add about 200 more people in the second half of this year.
  • The balance sheet has net cash of £122.8m as at 30 June 2021.

CEO Robert Walters said: “We enter the second half of the year with cautious optimism and confidence that we will continue to take advantage of market opportunities as they arise.”

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