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SThree plc Satisfactory First Half Says CEO Gary Eldon

SThree plc – Satisfactory First Half Says CEO Gary Eldon

Interim Results for the half year ended 26 May 2013

SThree, the international specialist staffing business, is today announcing its interim results for the half year ended 26 May 2013.

Financial Highlights

Six months ended

26 May 2013

27 May 2012

% change





Gross profit




Operating profit




Profit before taxation






Basic earnings per share




Interim dividend per share




Operational Highlights

&middot Satisfactory first half against a backdrop of weaker macroeconomic conditions

&middot Contract gross profit up 3%* year on year

&middot Further progress made against key strategic priorities - contract, international expansion and ongoing sector diversification

&middot Contract represents 54% of GP (2012: 49%)

&middot Non UK&I represents 68% (2012: 65%)

&middot New offices opened in Tokyo, Berlin and Calgary taking to 67 offices in 20 countries

&middot Resilient performance from newer sectors. Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology and Energy & Engineering now representing 36% of GP (2012: 32%)

&middot Total Group headcount at 2,283 increased by 4% on prior year end (2012: 2,188), driven by Rest of World ("ROW") headcount

&middot Net cash position of &pound15.5m (FY 2012: &pound28.3m), after a dividend payment of &pound5.7m in December 2012 and capital expenditure of &pound3.7m

&middot Restructuring of property portfolio and support functions implemented after period end, to realign the Group's overall cost base and long term profitability, will be booked in H2. Annualised cost base reduced by circa &pound8m pa, H2 2013 saving of circa &pound3m and exceptional cost of circa &pound8m.

* at constant currency

Gary Elden, Chief Executive Officer, said: "Against a backdrop of weaker macroeconomic conditions, we had a satisfactory first half."

"Contract, international and expansion of our newer sectors remained our strategic priorities in the period, along with a refocusing of elements of the business to ensure they are positioned to target growth markets more effectively."

"We continued to invest in Contract sales headcount in growth markets, with a particular focus on Energy, up 48%, and Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology, up 13%, since the start of the year. Allowing for the usual lag before these new hires become productive, we expect the full benefit of this investment to be felt in 2014. In Permanent, after a number of quarters of headcount decline, we are now investing selectively to preserve our capabilities, given the importance of an exposure to Permanent in recovering markets."

"Looking ahead, global economic conditions remain fragile and predicting the kind of market conditions the Group will face in the second half with any accuracy is extremely difficult."

"Our balanced business mix between Contract and Permanent, continued drive to improve productivity and tight focus on growing teams only in selective sectors/geographies, together with the savings expected from the restructuring programme, give us confidence that we will make the best of the market opportunity in the second half, whilst managing the business prudently for the medium term."


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