Trading update for the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2016

Good performance with Group net fee income up 11%* (28% actual).

  • 70% of Group net fee income generated outside of the UK.
  • Two new countries entered with the opening of the Group’s first offices in Canada (Toronto) and Portugal (Lisbon). Second office also opened in Malaysia (Penang) during the period.
  • Asia Pacific net fee income up 3%* (30% actual).
    • Our emerging markets in Asia continued to perform well with Indonesia, Vietnam and Korea, in particular, delivering good growth.
    • Solid performance in Japan, Singapore and Malaysia. Market conditions in Greater China remain challenging.
    • Activity levels in Australia slowed against tough comparatives, whilst New Zealand delivered a record quarter.
  • UK net fee income up 16% year-on-year.
    • Resource Solutions, our recruitment outsourcing division, continued to benefit from the investment made in the first half producing another quarter of excellent net fee income growth.
    • Commerce finance and regional UK recruitment activity remains positive.
  • Net fee income in Europe up 15%* (38% actual).
  • All markets in Europe grew net fee income in constant currency during the period with Spain, Switzerland and Germany producing the strongest rates of growth.
    • Other International led by North America and the Middle East increased net fee income by 32%* (62% actual).
  • Group headcount of 3,229 (30 Sep 2016: 3,098).
  • Strong balance sheet with net cash of £20.8m as at 31 December 2016 (30 Sep 2016: £18.6m).

Robert Walters, Chief Executive, commented:

“All of our regions grew net fee income during the quarter and we opened three new offices, Lisbon, Toronto and Penang. Net fee income for the full year is up 9% in constant currency and profit before taxation is expected to be slightly ahead of current market expectations.”

The Group will publish its final results for the year ended 31 December 2016 on 15 March 2017.

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