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Robert Walters Net Fee Income Grows on Europe, Asia Pacific

April 6 (Bloomberg) -- Robert Walters Plc, a U.K. recruitment agency, said group net fee income rose 23 percent in the first quarter, boosted by a “solid performance” in Asia Pacific and Europe.

Group net fee income, or gross profit, for the first quarter climbed to 40.1 million pounds ($65.5 million) from 32.6 million pounds a year ago, the London-based company said in a Regulatory News Service statement today. The company’s net cash position was more than 20 million pounds at March 31, up from 15.6 million pounds a year ago.

“As stated in our recent year-end results, the outlook for the year remains broadly positive,” Chief Executive Officer Robert Walters said in the statement, “We continue to pursue our strategy of international expansion, having chosen Brazil, China and Germany as new markets providing strong opportunities for growth.”

Hays Plc, Britain’s biggest recruitment agency, said in February it may expand its operations in Latin America, such as in Chile and Colombia.

Robert Walters net fee income in Asia Pacific grew 29 percent in the first quarter while net fee income in Europe rose 32 percent during the period. The recruiter said today its operations in Japan, which were affected by a massive earthquake which struck the island nation in March, are now operational.

“We believe the strength in other regions will offset the impact from the Japanese earthquake,” Henry Carver, an analyst with Peel Hunt LLP, said in an e-mailed note to investors. Carver recommends buying the stock.

Robert Walter shares added 4 percent to close at 320 pence at 4:30 p.m. in London, giving the recruiter a market value of 245 million pounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Lawrence in London at rlawrence7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net

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