Shares in Robert Walters were up on the FTSE All Share in morning trading after the recruitment firm reported strong profit growth in the fourth quarter ended 31 December.

Gross profit was up 42 per cent to £40.6 million in the period. Profit growth was particularly strong in Asia-Pacific, rising 54 per cent to £19.7 million.

In Britain gross profit was up 37 per cent to £11.6 million, Europe saw profits increase 24 per cent to £8.4 million while in the Americas profit rose 71 per cent to £0.8 million.

The group said that it had net cash of more than £20 million and a headcount of 1,735 as of 31 December 2010, up from 1,269 a year previously.

Robert Walters, Chief Executive of Robert Walters, said, "Performance across the Group has been strong, resulting in significantly increased net fee income year on year. Group net fee income for the year ended 31 December was up 49% to £155.3m (2009: £104.4m). Markets continued to be very active and China, in particular, has delivered excellent growth.

"We enter 2011 with confidence. We continue to invest in the areas where we see the most potential, seeking to benefit from our long term strategy of geographical expansion. Our new offices opened during the quarter in Beijing, Seoul and Dusseldorf are already generating revenue and, notwithstanding an uncertain economic backdrop in the UK, we expect levels of activity across the Group to remain strong."

By 09:35 shares in Robert Walters were up 1.61 per cent on the FTSE All Share to 332.25 pence per share.