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UK net fees down 8% in Q1 2020 for SThree

SThree has released a trading update for the first quarter of 2020, ending 29th February 2020.

Group net fees were flat year-on-year at £75.3m. In the company, contract net fees increased by 2% while permanent net fees declined 6% in the quarter.

In the DACH region, net fees were up 9% in the quarter to £25.2m. Germany saw growth of 7% to £23.2m.

Net fees in EMEA, excluding DACH, were down 6% to £31.5m. In the UK, net fees were down 8% to £9.7m.

The USA’s net fees were flat year-on-year at £16.0m. In APAC, net fees declined 15% to £2.6m. In Japan, net fees were £1.5m, down 11%.

Mark Dorman, chief executive, commented, "We have delivered these results despite a backdrop of significant and increasing global macro-economic uncertainties and challenges. The performance of our businesses in Germany and the Netherlands was particularly impressive and demonstrates the benefits of our strategy, focusing on Contract and STEM across diverse markets. This, combined with the efforts of our employees worldwide, has enabled us to continue to deliver a robust level of net fees despite the wider economic headwinds.

"Whilst the macro uncertainties are increasingly apparent, we continue to invest selectively in our business, reflecting our commitment to building for the future and driving the long-term success of our Group. We remain confident that we have the right strategy, as we are uniquely positioned as the only global pure-play STEM specialist.

"The uncertainties the market faces are, however, potentially very significant, given the fast-developing situation with Covid-19, recent large falls in oil prices, and increasing concerns about global confidence and GDP growth. Notwithstanding this, demand for key STEM skills remains robust."

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