8 March 2022

Results for the year ended 31 December 2021

Cubed structure

The Robert Walters Group today released its full-year results for the year ended 31 December 2021. Robert Walters, Chief Executive, commented:

“The Group delivered an outstanding performance in 2021 increasing operating profit by 265% to a record of £54.1m. This result is testament to the Group’s proven track record of profitably weathering international crises and benefiting from operational gearing when market conditions become more favourable and of the talent, hard-work and commitment of all our staff right across the globe.

“The jobs market is strong, wage inflation is increasing everywhere and candidate and client confidence is high. Together with the Group’s strong brand, global international footprint covering both well-established and emerging recruitment markets and blend of permanent, interim, contract and recruitment process outsourcing revenue streams it serves to create clear opportunities across the recruitment market.

“We are however mindful of the macro-economic and political uncertainties that do exist. To date, early 2022 trading is in line with Board expectations.”

Financial and operational highlights



% change % change (constant currency*)
Revenue £970.7m £938.4m 3% 6%
Gross profit (net fee income) £353.6m £302.4m 17% 21%
Operating profit £54.1m £14.8m 265% 285%
Profit before taxation £50.2m £12.1m 315% 339%
Basic earnings per share 46.3p 8.0p 482% N/A
Proposed final dividend per share 15.0p 11.0p 36% N/A
* Constant currency is calculated by applying prior year exchange rates to local currency results for the current and prior years.
  • Record Group performance with operating profit increasing by 265% (285%*) year-on-year to an all-time high of £54.1m (2020: £14.8m).
  • Fierce competition for talent and significant wage inflation across all geographic locations and specialist disciplines.
  • Consultant productivity up 20% year-on-year.
  • Blend of revenue streams across permanent, contract and interim recruitment and recruitment process outsourcing continues to enable the Group to meet the diverse needs of clients and candidates across the globe.
    • Activity levels strongest across permanent and interim recruitment with clients increasingly confident to hire for the long term.
  • 81% (2020: 78%) of Group net fee income now derived from our international businesses.
  • Asia Pacific net fee income up 32% (39%*) to £164.2m (£172.5m*) (2020: £124.1m) and operating profit increased by 336% (361%*) to £36.5m (£38.6m*) (2020: £8.4m).
  • Europe net fee income up 11% (15%*) to £95.3m (£98.9m*) (2020: £85.7m) and operating profit increased by 192% (205%*) to £13.7m (£14.3m*) (2020: £4.7m).
  • UK net fee income up 3% to £68.7m (2020: £66.9m) and operating profit up 146% to £3.3m (2020: £1.3m).
  • Other International (the Americas, South Africa and the Middle East) net fee income was down 1% (up 5%*) to £25.4m (£27.0m*) (2020: £25.7m) and operating profit increased by 43% (58%*) to £0.6m (£0.6m*) (2020: £0.4m).
  • Group headcount increased by 11% to 3,484 (2020: 3,147).
  • Continued investment in ESG:
    • Finalist for two major ESG awards - the ESG Annual Reporting Awards and the global Reuters Responsible Business Awards;
    • Group has been offsetting the equivalent of our carbon emissions since 2015 and has committed to further carbon reduction targets by 2030; and
    • Engaged a leading ESG consultancy to undertake a Group-wide ESG materiality assessment.
  • Proposed final dividend of 15.0p per share (2020: 11.0p per share).
  • In 2021, the Group purchased 1,626,375 shares at an average price of £7.47 for £12.3m through the Group’s Employee Benefit Trust. A further 363,723 shares were purchased after year-end at an average price of £7.50 for £2.7m.
  • Strong balance sheet with net cash of £126.6m as at 31 December 2021 (31 December 2020: £155.5m).

The Company will publish a trading update for the first quarter ending 31 March 2022 on 7 April 2022.

Further information

Robert Walters plc                            +44 (0) 20 7379 3333
Robert Walters, Chief Executive
Alan Bannatyne, Chief Financial Officer

Williams Nicolson                              +44 7767 345 563
Steffan Williams

About Robert Walters Group

The Robert Walters Group is a market-leading international specialist professional recruitment group with over 3,400 staff spanning 31 countries. We specialise in the placement of the highest calibre professionals across the disciplines of accountancy and finance, banking, engineering, HR, healthcare, 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.


Forward-looking statements

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.