- Recruitment firm Robert Walters reported a 75% drop in annual profit, though it said the fall was shallower than feared and declared a final dividend.

Pre-tax profit for the year through December sank to £12.1 million, down from £47.4 million year-on-year, as revenue slumped 23% to £938.4 million.

Robert Walters declared a final dividend of 11.0p per share, after having reinstated dividends in November with a 4.5p interim payout.

Chief executive Robert Walters said the better-than-expected profit performance had been underpinned by a sequential quarter-on-quarter improvement in net fee income.

'With new or extended lockdowns still occurring across much of the world, market conditions remain challenging and visibility is limited,' Walters said.

'That said, the speed at which vaccination programmes are progressing across many of the group's markets coupled with signs of improvement in forward-looking indicators in Asia Pacific, the group's largest region, provides a degree of cautious optimism for a longer-term economic recovery.'

'Early 2021 trading is in line with current market expectations for the full year.'

At 9:08am: [LON:RWA] Robert Walters PLC share price was 0p at 430p

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