August 2, 2012 / 7:21 AM / 7 years ago

Bank woes take a big bite of staffing co Robert Walters profit

Aug 2 (Reuters) - White-collar recruiter Robert Walters Plc said net fee income rose 4 percent for the first half but pretax profit more than halved as a slowdown in the banking sector hurt hiring in its core Asia Pacific market.

The company posted a 3 percent drop in second-quarter net fee income last month as global banks go in a cost-cutting overdrive, slashing their workforce and putting hiring plans on hold.

The company, which places people in accountancy, banking, IT and administration jobs, said current trading remained difficult.

Net fee income, or gross profit, increased to 92.4 million pounds ($144.04 million) for January-June from 89.1 million pounds a year earlier.

Pretax profit fell 56 percent to 3.1 million pounds.

Revenue grew 14 percent to 275 million pounds.

Robert Walters earns more than half of its net fee income from Asia Pacific.

Net fee income from Asia Pacific was up 3 percent to 45.9 million pounds.

The company’s shares, which have risen 12 percent since the start of the year, were up 2 percent at 185 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday.

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