Robert Walters announces a 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).
Other financial highlights include:
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 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.
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.