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Robert Walters to Boost Hiring in Asia as U.K. Business Lags

Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Robert Walters Plc, a U.K.-based international recruiting company, plans to boost hiring in China and Indonesia as growth in profit in Asia outpaces the company’s U.K. home market.

There is “huge potential” in markets including Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, where the company plans to focus on increasing productivity, Chief Executive Robert Walters said in a phone interview in London.

Asia Pacific accounted for almost half the company’s gross profit of 46.4 million pounds ($72 million) last year, the London-based company said today in a Regulatory News Service statement. Profit climbed 16 percent in the Asia Pacific region, 24 percent in Europe, 18 percent in the Americas and South Africa, and 3 percent in the U.K.

Robert Walters recently opened an office in Taipei, Taiwan, and is handling “business as usual” in Australia, the company’s biggest market, the executive said. The company has no plans to hire in the U.K. or France, because of “weak client confidence,” and may reduce staffing in other markets, he said.

“It’s going to be tough,” Walters added.

Robert Walters shares rose as much as 3.1 percent and traded up 1.1 percent at 164.75 pence at 10:32 a.m. in London.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katie Linsell in London at klinsell@bloomberg.net

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

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