Robert Walters says Brexit uncertainty affecting client, candidate confidence

(Reuters) - Recruiter Robert Walters Plc said on Friday that uncertainty surrounding Brexit will keep hurting client and candidate confidence in Britain, and to mitigate the cautious market it has been growing its operations outside the UK.

The company said about 73 percent of its net fee income now comes from outside Britain.

Robert Walters — which places people in finance, engineering, legal and marketing jobs — had warned in January of a slowdown in hiring as Britain prepares to leave the European Union and said some banking jobs were moving from London to other parts of Europe.

Overall gross profit or net fee income for the company grew 14 percent to 392 million pounds for the full year ended Dec. 31, with Europe posting the strongest growth.

British employers’ confidence in the economy has fallen sharply ahead of Brexit, hammering hiring and investment intentions, an industry survey by Recruitment and Employment Confederation showed on Wednesday.

The company said full-year pretax profit rose 21 percent to 49.1 million pounds. Revenue grew about 6 percent to 1.23 billion pounds.

Robert Walters said on Friday that Giles Daubeney, who has been with the company for more than 30 years, would be stepping down from the board and as deputy chief executive officer.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S and Samantha Machado in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta