07 December 2005
Embargoed until 0700 7 December 2005
('SThree' or the 'Group')
Pre-Close Period Trading Update
SThree, one of the UK's leading information, communication and technology
('ICT') staffing businesses, is today issuing an update on trading for the year
ended 30 November 2005, prior to entering its close period.
Today's announcement is the first update from the Group since its shares were
admitted to trading on the Official List on 16 November 2005. In the prospectus
dated 11 November 2005, SThree announced that its results for the 10 months
ended 30 September 2005 had been in line with its historical, seasonal profile
and that both its contract and permanent businesses were showing good growth.
SThree is pleased to report that this strong performance has continued in the
last two months of the financial year and that it expects its results for the
full 2005 financial year to be in line with the Board's expectations.
The Group made 6,023 permanent placements during the year, representing an
increase of 35.0% over the 4,460 made in the prior year. During the same period,
the Group's average fees from permanent recruitment also grew to record levels.
At 30 November 2005, SThree had 4,365 active contractors, its highest number
ever, representing an increase of 16.9% over the prior year (2004: 3,735).
Contractor gross profit per day rates also increased during the year and this
momentum continued into the final quarter.
Russell Clements, Chief Executive of SThree commented: 'Robust trading in the
last two months of the year underpins our confidence that the Group will deliver
results for the 2005 financial year in line with our expectations.
'Our core UK ICT market remains strong and is evidenced by good growth in our
key performance indicators in both our contract and permanent businesses. Our
clear focus on servicing the SME market has also enabled us to maintain our
margins. Our expanding European operations and our non-ICT businesses also
continue to perform well.'
SThree will be announcing its preliminary results for the year ended 30 November
2005 on Wednesday 8 February 2006.
- Ends -
SThree plc 020 7292 3838
Russell Clements, Chief Executive Officer
Sunil Wickremeratne, Chief Operating Officer
Michael Nelson, Chief Financial Officer
Weber Shandwick Square Mile 020 7067 0700
Kevin Smith / Susanne Walker
Notes to editors
SThree, founded in 1986, is one of the leading ICT staffing businesses in the UK
based on turnover. SThree provides both permanent and contract specialist
staffing services in the UK and Europe, primarily in the ICT sector and, to an
increasing extent in the UK, the banking and finance, accountancy, human
resources and engineering sectors. SThree currently operates under 12 brands,
the 3 largest by turnover being Computer Futures, Progressive and Huxley, and
has 30 offices in the UK and 8 offices in Europe, in Belgium, The Netherlands,
France, Germany and Ireland.
SThree has a selective approach to clients and focuses on high margin
opportunities, predominantly within the small to medium-sized enterprises
('SME') market, which SThree defines as including autonomous divisions of large
corporates. SThree does not pursue a high volume/low margin model. SThree has a
diverse, international client list of over 4,000 clients, comprising primarily
Following the establishment of its first brand, Computer Futures, in 1986,
SThree adopted a multi-brand strategy, establishing new operations to address
growth opportunities. These new brands have typically been created out of one of
SThree's existing businesses and are an important means of retaining high
performing key employees who are often given the opportunity to acquire a
minority equity stake in the new business.
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange