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2021-09-13

SThree: Q3 Trading Update

SThree (STEM)
SThree: Q3 Trading Update

13-Sep-2021 / 07:00 GMT/BST
Dissemination of a Regulatory Announcement that contains inside information according to REGULATION (EU) No 596/2014 (MAR), transmitted by EQS Group.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


13 September 2021

 

 

SThree plc

 

Q3 Trading Update

 

Full year profit performance expected to be significantly ahead of consensus

 

SThree plc ("SThree" or the "Group"), the only global pure-play specialist staffing business focused on roles in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics ('STEM'), today issues a trading update covering the period 1 June 2021 to 31 August 2021.

 

Highlights

 

  • Group net fees for Q3 up 29% YoY(1)
  • Very strong growth in our three largest countries: Germany up 35%, USA up 31% and Netherlands up 24%
  • Top five countries represent 87% of Group net fees, with Germany representing 33% and USA 26% 
  • Contract and Permanent net fees up 27% and 36% YoY, respectively
  • Contract net fees represents 76% of Group net fees (Q3 2020: 77%)
  • Contractor order book(2) up 41% YoY (H1 2021: up 33%)
  • Strong balance sheet, with net cash at 31 August 2021 of circa £51m (31 August 2020: £39m; 31 May 2021: £48m)
  • The Board now expects that profit before tax for the 12 months to 30 November 2021 will be significantly above market consensus*, driven primarily by the timing of the planned increase in investment shifting from H2 FY21 to FY22 and beyond, and the Group's strong trading performance.

 

As Q3 2020 was the quarter most significantly impacted by Covid-19, the Group has also provided comparisons against Q3 2019 in the table below.

 

The growth in 2021 vs 2019 demonstrates the very strong underlying performance of the Group and the relevance of its differentiated, STEM-focused offering. Highlights vs 2019 include:

 

  • Q3 net fees up 11%
  • Germany net fees up 22%, USA up 28% and Netherlands up 8%
  • Contractor order book up 20%

 

*Current consensus Analyst PBT expectations are £51.4m. Source: SThree compiled consensus

 

Mark Dorman, Chief Executive, commented:

 

"The momentum in our performance from the start of the financial year has continued through the third quarter with net fees up 11% on 2019. Our strategy, positioned at the centre of the secular trends of STEM and flexible working, alongside a strengthening staffing market, has contributed to this strong performance.

 

The planned acceleration of investment into our people, talent acquisition, infrastructure and go-to-market proposition to drive long term sustainable growth will gather pace through the remainder of the financial year but the full effect is now likely to be felt in FY22. This, together with the strong net fees performance delivered in the quarter, and the impact of a potential return to more normal working and annual leave patterns not having been felt as yet, means that we now anticipate being significantly ahead of consensus profit expectations for the full year, following the upwards revision provided in June 2021.

 

Our rigorous focus on strategic execution has not wavered and we remain fully committed to the ongoing delivery of our long-term ambitions for all of our stakeholders, whatever the external circumstances."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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