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UPDATE 1-Robert Walters revenue tumbles as lockdowns put hiring on ice

Thu, 30th Jul 2020 08:15

(Recasts; adds CEO comment, background)

July 30 (Reuters) - British recruiting firm Robert Walters'
reported a 22% drop in half-year revenue along with a
small profit on Thursday, while adding that current trading was
in line with market expectations for the full year as it battles
a coronavirus-driven collapse in hiring.

Recruiters around the globe were hammered by hiring freezes
at the start of the health crisis, forcing peers PageGroup
, SThree and Hays to report huge
drops in net fees earlier this month.

The firm said it had cut group headcount by almost 600
staff, or around 14%, in the first half.

Robert Walters, which had already scrapped dividends and
laid out cost cuts through the year, also reduced the number of
consultants it employs in response to the downturn.

"Current trading is in line with market expectations for the
full year, albeit visibility remains limited", Chief Executive
Robert Walters said in a statement.

The company said revenue fell to 496.4 million pounds
($642.74 million) for the six months ended June 30 from 634.5
million pounds a year earlier, while pre-tax profit fell nearly
80%.
($1 = 0.7723 pounds)
(Reporting by Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard
Orr)

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