Financial Express (Holdings) Limited (“we”, “our”, “us” and derivatives) are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. This Privacy Policy, together with our Terms of Use, sets out the basis on which any personal data that we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us relating to your use of any of the below websites (“sites”).


For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, the data controller is Trustnet Limited of 2nd Floor, Golden House, 30 Great Pulteney Street, London, W1F 9NN. Our nominated representative for the purpose of this Act is Kirsty Witter.


We collect information about you when you register with us or use any of our websites / services. Part of the registration process may include entering personal details & details of your investments.

We may collect information about your computer, including where available your operating system, browser version, domain name and IP address and details of the website that you came from, in order to improve this site.

You confirm that all information you supply is accurate.


In order to provide personalised services to and analyse site traffic, we may use a cookie file which is stored on your browser or the hard drive of your computer. Some of the cookies we use are essential for the sites to operate and may be used to deliver you different content, depending on the type of investor you are.

You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser which allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or part of our sites. Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies as soon as you visit our sites.


We store and use information you provide as follows:

  • to present content effectively;
  • to provide you with information, products or services that you request from us or which may interest you, tailored to your specific interests, where you have consented to be contacted for such purposes;
  • to carry out our obligations arising from any contracts between you and us;
  • to enable you to participate in interactive features of our service, when you choose to do so;
  • to notify you about changes to our service;
  • to improve our content by tracking group information that describes the habits, usage, patterns and demographics of our customers.

We may also send you emails to provide information and keep you up to date with developments on our sites. It is our policy to have instructions on how to unsubscribe so that you will not receive any future e-mails. You can change your e-mail address at any time.

In order to provide support on the usage of our tools, our support team need access to all information provided in relation to the tool.

We will not disclose your name, email address or postal address or any data that could identify you to any third party without first receiving your permission.

However, you agree that we may disclose to any regulatory authority to which we are subject and to any investment exchange on which we may deal or to its related clearing house (or to investigators, inspectors or agents appointed by them), or to any person empowered to require such information by or under any legal enactment, any information they may request or require relating to you, or if relevant, any of your clients.

You agree that we may pass on information obtained under Money Laundering legislation as we consider necessary to comply with reporting requirements under such legislation.


We want to ensure that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct or remove information that is inaccurate.

You have the right under data protection legislation to access information held about you. If you wish to receive a copy of any personal information we hold, please write to us at 3rd Floor, Hollywood House, Church Street East, Woking, GU21 6HJ. Any access request may be subject to a fee of £10 to meet our costs in providing you with details of the information we hold about you.


The data that we collect from you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”). It may be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our suppliers. Such staff may be engaged in, amongst other things, the provision of support services. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing and processing. We will take all steps reasonably necessary, including the use of encryption, to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our sites; any transmission is at your own risk. You will not hold us responsible for any breach of security unless we have been negligent or in wilful default.


Any changes we make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by e-mail.


Our sites contain links to other websites. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.


If you want more information or have any questions or comments relating to our privacy policy please email [email protected] in the first instance.

 Information  X 
Enter a valid email address

SThree plc (STHR)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Friday 05 December, 2008

SThree plc

Trading Update

RNS Number : 5950J
SThree plc
05 December 2008


Trading Update

SThree, the international specialist staffing business, is today issuing a trading update for the year ending 30 November 2008

  • Another year of significant growth

  • Results in line with consensus market expectations

  • Year end net cash in excess of £24m (2007: £3.5m)

  • £31.1m of shares bought back during the year (13.6% of issued share capital(1))
  • Greater geographical diversification, with Non UK share of gross profit ('GP') up to circa 45% (2007: 32%)
  • Improved debtor management - days sales outstanding reduced to 43 days (2007: 59 days)

The year to 30 November 2008 has been another year of significant growth. The Board anticipates gross profit for the Group being circa £220m for the year (2007: £182.7m), an annual increase of approximately 20%. This performance is expected to deliver a Profit Before Tax result in line with consensus market expectations.

During the year, SThree bought back 16.6m shares for £31.1m (average price of 187p per share), representing 13.6% of its issued share capital. This buyback was comfortably funded by operating cashflow, leaving year end cash balances in excess of £24m (2007: £3.5m). The Group also has a £20m committed debt facility through to 25th February 2010, and currently is not drawing down against this. 

The Board is pleased to report continued improvement in debtor management in the year with a reduction in days sales outstanding to 43 days, compared to the closing position at 2 December 2007 (59 days), and a further improvement on the position at 1 June 2008 (51 days). 

SThree made 10,236 permanent placements that started in the year, an increase of 7.0% (2007: 9,568). Average permanent placement fees for the year have also shown further increases to record levels.

SThree closed the year with 5,745 contractors, up 1.5% on last year (2007: 5,662) and broadly unchanged from the total at the end of the first half (1 June 2008: 5,743). As with permanent fees, average gross profit per day rates also showed further improvements to record levels. 

The business of the Group has continued to become more diversified. For the full year, the Board estimates that non-UK GP now represents circa 45% of Group GP (2007: 32%).This compares to 41% at 1 June 2008, with an accelerating trend towards non-UK GP in the final quarter. The Board estimates that contract GP now represents circa 52% of Group GP (2007: 49%) and non ICT GP represents 23% of Group GP (2007: 18%). The Board believes that this mix in the Group's business positions it well for more challenging markets.

In line with the exceptional economic conditions seen during the final quarter of 2008, group trading was inevitably impacted, with a further year on year decline in UK volumes, and a modest slowing in the strong non-UK growth. UK volumes for permanent placements in the final quarter were down circa 25% year on year and UK contract runners were down circa 7% year on year. This was offset by non-UK volumes for permanent placements in the final quarter increasing by circa 29% year on year and non-UK contract runners ahead by circa 22% year on year. Fees have remained robust across permanent and contract in the final quarter, showing similar positive year on year growth in line with our third quarter performance.

SThree continues to demonstrate its flexible business model, adapting to the most challenging markets rapidly, with UK ICT permanent sales headcount down 19% year on year, ahead of the reduction in UK ICT permanent placements which fell 17% year on year. In more robust markets, the Group continued to grow sales headcount, resulting in overall sales headcount growth of 10% year on year.

Following an exceptional level of investment in 2007, capital expenditure in 2008 returned to more normalised levels of approximately £7m (2007: £14.1m). We estimate capital expenditure of circa £6m for 2009.


During 2008 SThree opened offices(2) in SydneyDubaiParis and Amsterdam, bringing the total to 54 offices in 10 countries. At the start of 2009, we will open a new office in Singapore. During the forthcoming year, we anticipate further office openings in Europe (Germany and France), subject to market conditions. 

Russell Clements, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

'It is pleasing to be able to report that, despite very difficult conditions in some of our markets, the group will once again demonstrate significant year on year growth. Our well established programme of rolling out into newer sectors and geographies sees the group more diversified and more international than at any other time in its history.

'We end 2008 with a very strong cash position, having funded a substantial share buyback and a growing contractor book during the year. Past experience shows that we remain highly cash generative throughout the economic cycle and this gives us confidence in our ability to continue to return a strong yield even in more difficult trading conditions.  

'The forthcoming year is likely to be the toughest we have faced for some time. However, our twenty two year history of profitability, flexible business model, seasoned management team and robust balance sheet all position us well to meet the challenges that lie ahead.'

SThree is hosting an analyst conference call today at 0830 GMT. The dial in number is + 44 (0)20 3003 2666 and the password is SThree. 

SThree will be announcing its preliminary results for the year ended 30 November 2008 on Monday 2 February 2009


(1) % of share capital as at 30 November 2008


(2) New offices: Progressive - Sydney, Pathway - Dubai, Huxley - Paris, Madison Black - Amsterdam

Ends -


SThree plc 020 7292 3838 

Russell Clements, Chief Executive Officer 

Alex Smith, Chief Financial Officer 

Citigate Dewe Rogerson 020 7638 9571 

Kevin Smith / Nicola Smith 

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

a d v e r t i s e m e n t