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Liberum ups forecasts, target price on Robert Walters

By Abigail Townsend

Date: Monday 14 Jun 2021

Liberum ups forecasts, target price on Robert Walters

(Sharecast News) - Liberum has upped its profits forecasts for Robert Walters and reiterated its 'buy' rating' following a unexpectedly strong trading update.
The broker now expects the recruiter to post full-year pre-tax profits of £30m, 14% higher than its previous forecast. Prior to the update, consensus had been for pre-tax profits between £24m and £26m.

Analyst Sanjay Vidyarthi said: "Robert Walters issued a brief, unscheduled update due to stronger- than-expected trading in the second quarter to date.

"[It] has not provided any numbers, but now expects full-year estimated pre-tax profit to be materially ahead of market expectations.

"We understand trading has been stronger-than-expected across regions. Permanent - around 70% of net fee income on a pre-Covid basis - has unsurprisingly driven the performance, and productivity has been high."

He said Robert Walters has a strong track record of growth and recovered faster than larger peers post credit crunch.

"Our full-year pre-tax profit estimate of £30m is still well below the £49.5m peak achieved in 2019, but we expect positive estimate momentum to continue, despite continued Covid-rated uncertainty."

Liberum also upped the price target, to 800p from 730p, noting that the shares look "attractively valued relative to larger peers".

As at 1115 BST, shares in Robert Walters were largely flat at 704.0p.

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