SThree group gross profit up 11% at YE 2015
SThree has released results for its financial year ended 30th November 2015, confirming good profit across all its sectors, except energy.
The Group reported profit before tax for the year was expected to be in line with current market consensus, while Group gross profit (GP) up 11% YoY and ahead by 17% excluding energy. It saw continued strong growth across ICT (+19% YoY) and Life Sciences (+20% YoY). There was also strong performance in the Americas (+26%* YoY), which now represents 19% of Group GP (2014: 15%).
However, the Group stated conditions in the energy market remain challenging (-19%* YoY), with Q4 down 37% YoY and down 8% sequentially vs Q3. Contract GP rose 17% YoY and ahead by 21% excluding Energy. There was continued strong growth in contract runners up 11% YoY and contract now accounts for almost two thirds of Group GP. Permanent GP is up 3% YoY; with Permanent GP excluding Energy up 11% YoY. Group year-end sales headcount is up 8% YoY and average sales headcount is up 6% YoY, driven by increased contract and reduced permanent heads. Net cash of circa £6m is up £16m YoY (2014: net debt of £10m).
Gary Elden, chief executive officer, commented, "We have delivered a strong full year performance as we continued to benefit from the geographic and sectoral diversity of our operations. Performances from our ICT and Life Sciences businesses were particularly pleasing.
“Looking ahead to 2016, while the trading environment remains broadly positive in the majority of our territories, we note that global macro-economic uncertainties have increased somewhat during the fourth quarter, with increasing risks to global growth. We also expect challenging Energy market conditions and FX headwinds to persist.
“Prospects for our US business are exciting and we are continuing to invest for the future, both in headcount and in our office network, where we are adding further space in New York and new offices in Austin and Minneapolis during the first quarter. Against this backdrop, we will continue to invest selectively in our high performing teams around the world to grow our business and capitalise on market opportunities, especially in Contract, ICT, Life Sciences and the Americas.”