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SThree plc (STHR)

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Friday 09 March, 2012

SThree plc

Interim Management Statement

RNS Number : 9967Y
SThree plc
09 March 2012
 



9 March 2012

Q1 Interim Management Statement

 

SThree plc ("SThree" or the "Group"), the international specialist staffing business, is today issuing an Interim Management Statement covering the period from 28 November 2011 to date; financial information relates to the quarter ended 26 February 2012.

 

Highlights:

 

·    Group gross profit up 15%* year on year (up 12%* in Q4 2011)

·    Permanent gross profit up 16%* year on year (up 14%* in Q4 2011)

·    Contract gross profit up 13%* year on year (up 9%* in Q4 2011)

·    Permanent deal pipeline volume up 11% year on year (up 1% at year end 2011)

·    Seasonal recovery in contract runners tracking broadly in line with 2011

·    Strong financial position with net cash of circa £30m at period end after payment of interim and special dividend of c£20m in early December 2011

 

Financial Highlights - Group Gross Profit

 


Q1
2012

Q1
2011

Q1
2012
yoy % Var*

Q4
2011
yoy % Var*

Group

£47.7m

£41.7m

+15%

+12%

Permanent

£24.1m

£20.9m

+16%

+14%

Contract

£23.6m

£20.8m

+13%

+9%


£47.7m

£41.7m

+15%

+12%











UK&I

£16.7m

£16.5m

+1%

-7%

Non UK&I

£31.0m

£25.2m

+24%

+24%


£47.7m

£41.7m

+15%

+12%

Permanent/Contract Split





Permanent

51%

50%



Contract

49%

50%




100%

100%



Geographical Split





UK&I

35%

40%



Non UK&I

65%

60%




100%

100%



ICT/Non ICT Split





ICT

57%

59%



Non ICT

43%

41%




100%

100%



* At constant currency





 

Operating Metrics

 


Q1
2012
Number

Q1
2011
Number

Q1
2012
yoy % Var

Q4
2011
yoy % Var

Permanent Placements**

1,674

1,604

+4%

+3%

UK&I



-4%

-11%

Non UK&I



+9%

+12%






Group



+4%

+3%






Contract Runners***

4,461

4,207

+6%

+8%

UK&I



-1%

+1%

Non UK&I



+14%

+15%






Group



+6%

+8%






** Excluding retainers
*** Period end number of contractors on site with clients and being billed

 

 

Average placement fees for the quarter have grown strongly year on year, despite continuing weakness in the global banking and finance market, with particularly strong performances from Energy and Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology. Average contractor gross profit per day rates also strengthened year on year during the quarter.

 

Group sales headcount at 26 February 2012 was broadly level versus the year end, and up 27% year on year. UK sales headcount was up 8% year on year, but down 4% quarter on quarter, and non-UK sales headcount was up 40% year on year, and up 2% quarter on quarter. Average sales headcount in the quarter was up 29% year on year.

 

The current permanent deal pipeline shows an increase of 11% year on year, versus a 1% increase at the year end.

 

The Group opened offices in Oslo and San Diego during the quarter, taking the total to 62 offices in 18 countries.

  

The Group remains in a strong cash position with net cash of circa £30m at 26 February 2012. 

 

Russell Clements, Chief Executive, commented:

 

"For seasonal reasons, the first quarter is the Group's least significant in terms of the year as a whole. Nonetheless, it is pleasing to note that our gross profit growth year on year has improved in Q1 2012 compared to Q4 2011. We are also reassured by our permanent deal pipeline, with deals agreed but yet to start up by 11% year on year. In addition, the normal seasonal recovery in contract runners is following a similar shape to 2011.

 

"There remain significant differences within both geographies and sectors in the demand for the Group's services but, overall, market conditions remain in far better shape than we saw in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. We are a cash rich and agile business, with a twenty five year track record of profitability and a seasoned management team. As such, we are well placed to maximise the potential of whatever market conditions prevail in 2012." 

 

SThree is hosting an analyst conference call today at 0830 GMT. The details are as follows:

 

Telephone number:  +44 (0) 20 3003 2666

For access to the call please quote Confirmation Code: SThree

The Group will issue a trading update for the six months ended 27 May 2012 on 8 June 2012 and its interim results for the six months ended 27 May 2012 will be announced on 16 July 2012.

 

* at constant currency

** excludes retained business 

 

 

- Ends -

 

 

Enquiries:


SThree plc

020 7268 6000

Russell Clements, Chief Executive Officer


Alex Smith, Chief Financial Officer


Sarah Anderson, Deputy Company Secretary/IR enquiries

 


Citigate Dewe Rogerson

020 7638 9571

Kevin Smith/Nicola Swift


 

 

Notes to editors

 

SThree is a leading international specialist staffing businesses, providing permanent and contract specialist staff to a diverse client base of over 7,000 clients. From its well-established position as a major player in the information and communications technology ("ICT") sector the Group has broadened the base of its operations to include businesses serving Banking, Engineering & Energy, Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology, Accountancy and Job Board sectors.

 

Since launching its original business, Computer Futures, in 1986, the Group has adopted a multi-brand strategy, establishing new operations to address growth opportunities. SThree brands include Computer Futures, Huxley Associates, Progressive and The Real Staffing Group. The Group has circa 2,300 employees in eighteen countries.

 

SThree plc is quoted on the Official List of the UK Listing Authority under the ticker symbol STHR and also has a US level one ADR facility, symbol SERTY.

 

 

Important notice

 

Certain statements in this announcement are forward looking statements. By their nature, forward looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties or assumptions that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by those statements. Forward looking statements regarding past trends or activities should not be taken as representation that such trends or activities will continue in the future. Certain data from the announcement is sourced from unaudited internal management information. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed on forward looking statements.

 

 

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This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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