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SThree net fees grow in first quarter, in line with expectations

21st Mar 2023 10:00

(Alliance News) - SThree PLC on Tuesday said net fees grew in the first quarter of its financial year, in line with its expectations.

In a trading update for the three months that ended February 28, the London-based staffing company said net fees were GBP102.6 million, up 9.4% from GBP93.8 million a year earlier, or 4% on a constant currency basis.

In SThree's three largest markets, representing 73% of net fees, it said growth of 7% and 4% on a constant currency basis was achieved in Germany and the Netherlands, respectively, while the US was down 6%, also at constant currency.

Contract net fees were up 14% to GBP82.7 million from GBP72.3 million, or up 8% on a constant currency basis, with growth across all regions, while Permanent net fees were down 7.4% to GBP19.9 million from GBP21.5 million, or down 12% on a constant currency basis. This reflected market conditions, performance in the US and Life Sciences, and the planned transition from Permanent to Contract in several markets, SThree said.

"The group has delivered a robust net fee performance in the first quarter of financial 2023 with fees up 4% year-on-year, in line with expectations, and supported by the strength of our well-established strategy, focused on [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] and flexible talent," said Chief Executive Officer Timo Lehne.

"The macro-economic environment remains uncertain, and we continue to see varied effects across our markets impacting new placements, offset by strong contract extensions.

"Our long-term opportunity is unchanged, underpinned by structural megatrends which drive the acute need for scarce STEM talent. We are closely monitoring lead indicators across our markets as we navigate challenging macro conditions. Supported by a resilient business model and robust financial position, we remain well positioned to source and place the best STEM talent the world needs."

SThree said it had a "robust" balance sheet, with net cash at February 28 standing at GBP64 million, up 56% from GBP41 million a year earlier.

Shares in SThree, whose exchange ticker is STEM, were up 1.2% to 437.50 pence each in London on Tuesday morning.

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