* Constant currency is calculated by applying prior year exchange rates to local currency results for the current and prior periods.
- Record Group performance with profit before taxation increasing by 11% (12%*) year-on-year to an all-time high of £55.6m (2021: £50.2m).
- Fierce competition for talent and significant wage inflation across all geographies and specialist disciplines during the first half of the year.
- The global macro-economic backdrop became increasingly uncertain as the second half of the year progressed resulting in a softening of recruitment activity levels across many of the Group’s markets. The Ukraine conflict, a high inflation and high interest rate environment, significant cutbacks across the global technology market and Covid-enforced lockdowns in Mainland China all had a cumulative effect on market confidence.
- Growth across all forms of recruitment – permanent, contract, interim and recruitment process outsourcing.
- Activity levels were strongest across permanent and interim during the first half as organisations were confident to hire for the long-term. Contract recruitment activity increased more significantly during the second half as client and candidate confidence became more muted.
- Permanent recruitment represented 70% (2021: 68%) of the Group’s net fee income.
- Significant investment in Group headcount and infrastructure during the year:
- Headcount increased by 25% to 4,356 (2021: 3,484). Headcount growth slowed during the second half reflecting the tightening market conditions.
- First office opened in Italy (Milan). Three new offices opened in existing markets: Austin, Berlin, and Bilbao.
- Continued development and roll out of the Group’s new customer relationship management (CRM) platform.
- 83% (2021: 81%) of Group net fee income now derived from our international businesses.
- Continued focus on ESG:
- During 2022, we helped over 48,600 people and 13,000 organisations fulfil their unique potential through providing new careers and valued team members.
- Finalist for the second successive year at the ESG Reporting Awards. Winner of nine awards across equity, diversity & inclusion, employee engagement and employer brand.
- The Group has been offsetting the equivalent of our carbon emissions since 2015 and has committed to a net zero target on Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2040.
- Joined the UN Global Compact initiative.
- Over 1,100 employees were promoted during the year of which 59% were female.
- Proposed final dividend of 17.0p per share (2021: 15.0p per share).
- In 2022, the Group purchased 2,024,071 shares at an average price of £6.25 for £12.7m through the Group’s Employee Benefit Trust. A further 2,029,880 shares were purchased at an average price of £4.93 for £10.0m and cancelled.
- Strong balance sheet with net cash of £97.1m as at 31 December 2022 (31 December 2021: £126.6m).
- As per a separate announcement made today, Robert Walters to retire as Group CEO and to be succeeded by Toby Fowlston.
- Asia Pacific net fee income up 18% (16%*) to £193.8m (£191.2m*) (2021: £164.2m) and operating profit increased by 3% (3%*) to £37.5m (£37.6m*) (2021: £36.5m).
- Europe net fee income up 30% (31%*) to £124.1m (£124.7m*) (2021: £95.3m) and operating profit increased by 29% (31%*) to £17.6m (£17.9m*) (2021: £13.7m).
- UK net fee income up 8% to £74.0m (2021: £68.7m) and operating profit increased by 1% to £3.4m (2021: £3.3m).
- Other International (the Americas, South Africa and the Middle East) net fee income was up 43% (29%*) to £36.3m (£32.9m*) (2021: £25.4m) delivering an operating loss of £0.3m (operating loss of £0.1m*) (2021: operating profit of £0.6m).
The Company will publish a trading update for the first quarter ending 31 March 2023 on 6 April 2023.
Robert Walters plc +44 (0) 20 7379 3333
Robert Walters, Chief Executive
Alan Bannatyne, Chief Financial Officer
Steffan Williams +44 7767 345 563
Claire Foster +44 7525 665 504
About Robert Walters Group
The Robert Walters Group is a market-leading international specialist professional recruitment group. With over 4,300 staff spanning 31 countries, we deliver specialist recruitment consultancy, staffing, recruitment process outsourcing and managed services across the globe. We match highly skilled professionals to permanent, contract and interim roles across the disciplines of accountancy & finance, banking, engineering, HR, healthcare, technology, legal, sales, marketing, secretarial & support, and supply chain, logistics & procurement. Our client base ranges from the world’s leading blue-chip corporates and financial services organisations through to SMEs and start-ups.
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.