FINANCIALS: Robert Walters battles against global challenges

International recruitment group Robert Walters delivered a marginal increase in gross profit, despite a turbulent year of political and economic challenges across the globe.

According to results for the year ended 31 December 2019, the group posted a 2% increase in GP in constant currency, from £392m in 2018 to £405.5m, but with a 2% decline in revenue in constant currency, from £1.23bn to £1.22bn over the same period.

The group’s international operations, particularly the Americas, South Africa, the Middle East, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and San Francisco, helped to offset challenging conditions in Hong Kong, and for the UK (where NFI was down 9% to £98.4m).

Elaborating on the group’s performance, CEO Robert Walters pointed to a year of unprecedented political and economic turbulence fuelled by the US-China trade war, Brexit, protests in Hong Kong and Gilets-Jaunes (Yellow Jackets) disruption in France. 

“It's a testament to the strength of the group’s brand, geographic diversity and long-term growth strategy that we have been able to deliver a 2% [in constant currency] increase in NFI and a record level of GP.

“The global recruitment market remains unpredictable at present, with the coronavirus outbreak, which is likely to negatively impact full-year profit expectations, adding a further layer of uncertainty. We will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation and update the market as appropriate.”

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