*Constant currency is calculated by applying prior year exchange rates to local currency results for the current and prior years.
- The Group’s primary focus for the year has been ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of our people and our clients and candidates.
- Profit for the full year ahead of current market expectations.
- Proven track record of delivering sensible and targeted short-term cost reduction and control measures in difficult times whilst maintaining the Group’s ability to benefit from operational gearing when market conditions improve.
- Pre-Covid investment in technology enabled all staff to seamlessly and productively transition to remote working without impacting our ability to service our client and candidate requirements.
- Robust performance against the backdrop of the Covid pandemic, with Group net fee income down 25% (26%*) year-on-year to £302.4m (2019: £405.5m).
- 78% (2019: 76%) of Group net fee income now derived from our international businesses.
- Blend of revenue streams across permanent, contract and interim recruitment and recruitment process outsourcing enabled the Group to meet the varying needs of clients and candidates across the globe.
- Asia Pacific net fee income down 25% (25%*) to £124.1m (£124.3m*) (2019: £164.6m) and operating profit decreased by 63% (64%*) to £8.4m (£8.3m*) (2019: £22.8m).
- Europe net fee income down 21% (22%*) to £85.7m (£84.6m*) (2019: £108.7m) and operating profit decreased by 69% (70%*) to £4.7m (£4.7m*) (2019: £15.4m).
- UK net fee income down 32% to £66.9m (2019: £98.4m) and operating profit down to £1.3m (2019: £11.7m).
- Other International (the Americas, South Africa and the Middle East) net fee income was down 24% (23%*) to £25.7m (£26.3m*) (2019: £33.8m) and operating profit decreased by 71% (72%*) to £0.4m (£0.4m*) (2019: £1.3m).
- Group headcount decreased by 22% to 3,147 (2019: 4,027). Reductions were a blend of natural attrition, performance management and right-sizing and focused in those geographies and disciplines hardest hit by the pandemic.
- Reinstatement of dividend payments in November 2020 with interim dividend of 4.5p per share. Proposed final dividend of 11.0p per share (2019: 11.0p per share declared, subsequently cancelled).
- Strong balance sheet with net cash of £155.5m as at 31 December 2020 (31 December 2019: £85.8m). The Group also has a £60m committed loan facility which expires in March 2024.
- Strength of the Group’s balance sheet meant no external fund-raising was required during the year.
The Group will publish a trading update for the first quarter ending 31 March 2021 on 14 April 2021.
Robert Walters plc +44 (0) 20 7379 3333
Robert Walters, Chief Executive
Alan Bannatyne, Chief Financial Officer
Williams Nicolson +44 7767 345 563
About Robert Walters Group
The Robert Walters Group is a market-leading international specialist professional recruitment group with over 3,100 staff spanning 31 countries. We specialise in the placement of the highest calibre professionals across the disciplines of accountancy and finance, banking, engineering, HR, IT, legal, sales, marketing, secretarial and support and supply chain, logistics and procurement. Our client base ranges from the world’s leading blue-chip corporates and financial services organisations through to SMEs and start-ups. The Group’s outsourcing division, Resource Solutions, is a market leader in recruitment process outsourcing and managed services.
This announcement contains certain forward-looking statements. These statements are made by the directors in good faith based on the information available to them at the time of their approval of this announcement and such statements should be treated with caution due to the inherent uncertainties, including both economic and business risk factors, underlying any such forward-looking information.