Robert Walters PLC (LSE:RWA) reported a “good” performance for the third quarter to the end of September with net commission income up 18% on growth in all forms of recruitment, although it noted that the global economic context is becoming increasingly uncertain.
The specialist professional staffing firm said it expects 2022 earnings to be in line with market forecasts.
Group net charges in the three months to September 30, 2022 rose to £112m from £91.8m in the third quarter of last year as job flow remained ‘strong’ , with applicant shortages remaining “acute” and wage inflation continuing to mount, the company said in a statement.
It said 84% of its net commission income was generated by its international business, with commission income from Europe, Asia-Pacific and other international operations increasing by 32%, 16% and 53% respectively. .
However, net commission income in mainland China fell 25% year-on-year after market conditions were affected by the recent strict Covid-19 lockdowns.
In the UK, net commission income fell 6% in the third quarter compared to difficult comparisons last year, as “the more volatile political and economic environment in the UK” impacted market confidence local, the group said.
The rebound in recruitment activity in Financial Services continued throughout the quarter, while more challenging market conditions led to lower net fee income from Technology Recruitment and Resource Solutions, he added.
The workforce increased by 5% quarter-on-quarter to reach 4,267 at the end of September, compared to 4,051 at June 30.
In a separate statement, the company announced the appointment of Leslie Van de Walle as non-executive chairwoman, who will join the board on November 1, 2022, succeeding interim chairwoman Tanith Dodge.
Robert Walters said he had a strong balance sheet with net cash of £93.5m, up from £112.8m a year ago.
On January 10, 2023, the group will publish a trading update for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2022.