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Recruiter Robert Walters' profit in home turf falls on Brexit worries

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Recruiter Robert Walters' profit in home turf falls on Brexit worries
FILE PHOTO: Workers are seen in an office tower in the Canary Wharf financial district at dusk in London, Britain, November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville   -   Copyright  TOBY MELVILLE(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – British recruiter Robert Walters Plc <RWA.L> said on Tuesday its gross profit in the home market fell 8% in the second quarter, as companies held back on hiring new candidates because of economic uncertainty brought on by Brexit.

The company, which generates 76% of net fees or gross profit outside Britain, said overall gross profit rose 7% to £106.4 million for the quarter ended June 30.

The recruiter, which places people in finance, engineering, legal and marketing jobs, said Europe net fees grew 13% to £27.7 million.

Recruiters such as Robert Walters have become important barometers of the economy, especially in Britain, as doubts on the time and method of UK’s exit from the European Union have cast a shadow on their businesses.

Last week, recruitment industry group REC’s report said that the number of people hired for permanent jobs via recruitment firms in Britain fell for a fourth month in a row in June.

“Brexit stagnation continues to seize up the jobs market as the slowdown in recruitment activity continues,” James Stewart, vice chair at KPMG, which produces the report with REC, had said.

(This story was refiled to add dropped word in paragraph 2)

(Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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