SThree reports very strong profit growth with record H1 net fees

SThree, the global STEM-specialist talent partner, is pleased to announce an excellent performance in the first half of our financial year, with very strong growth in profit before tax, up 64% on last year to £44.3 million.

The Group reports record H1 net fees, up 25% year-on-year (YoY), with double-digit net fee growth across all regions and sectors. This is driven by continuing high demand from our clients for STEM skills and flexible talent.

Contract and Permanent net fees for H1 are up 30% and 11% respectively YoY. In line with our strategic focus on flexible talent, contract has grown to represent 77% of Group net fees, with a strong contractor order book, up 35% YoY.

Operating profit was £44.6m, reflecting a 62% like-for-like increase on last year and an exceptional operating profit conversion ratio of 22%. Our balance sheet remains robust, with net cash of £48.4m.

We are also pleased to report that we are making good progress against our ESG targets, with more than 16,540 lives positively impacted in H1 2022.

Our renewables business (7% of net fees) is up 22% versus HY 2021, and we are well ahead of our target to double the share of this business by 2024, up 79% since 2019.

Timo Lehne, SThree CEO, said:

“SThree has generated another excellent period of growth, surpassing the milestone of £200m of net fees in a half-year, driven by a strong performance across all our regions and STEM disciplines. Our focus on flexible talent, providing our clients with both independent and employed contractors, continues to deliver, with contract representing an increasing proportion of our net-fee income.

“The macro challenges that we face globally - the need for digital transformation, climate change and supply chain disruption - drive an ever-increasing need for people with STEM skills. Our clients know that they can come to us for the provision of highly skilled experts, drawing on our global network and expertise. Similarly, candidates know that by coming to SThree their skills will be fully appreciated and they will have access to a huge pool of employment opportunities with dynamic organisations across the world, accelerating their professional growth.

“In order to build on the strength of our strategic positioning we are also constantly improving all aspects of our business operations, with further investment in our people, talent acquisition and digital infrastructure moving forward as planned. This investment is designed to underpin our long-term success, with most of the current year cost due to fall in the second half as previously signalled.

“While we are mindful of the wider macro-economic uncertainties, the demand for STEM talent, and flexible STEM talent in particular, is structural. Our position as the number-one destination for talent in the best STEM markets and our strong contractor order book underpins our continued confidence.”

Financial results

Notes to editors

SThree plc brings skilled people together to build the future. It is the only global pure-play specialist staffing business focused on roles in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (‘STEM’), providing permanent and flexible contract talent to a diverse base of more than 9,000 clients in 15 countries.

The Group’s c.2,700 staff cover the technology, life sciences, engineering, banking and finance sectors.

SThree plc is quoted on the Premium Segment of the Official List of the Financial Conduct Authority under the ticker symbol STEM and also has a US level one ADR facility, symbol SERTY.

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