FINANCIALS: SThree flags potential impact of coronavirus but delivers robust net fee performance

Against the backdrop of “increasing global macro-economic uncertainties and challenges”, the CEO of international STEM recruiters SThree has flagged up the threat of the coronavirus to the company’s business.

In a trading update for Q1 that ended 29 February and therefore does not cover the growing impact on the coronavirus on economic activity and markets around the world, CEO Mark Dorman said: “The uncertainties the market faces are, however, potentially very significant given the fast-developing situation with Covid-19, recent falls in oil prices and increasing concerns about global confidence and growth. Notwithstanding that demand for STEM skills remains robust.”

Speaking about the latest worldwide developments, he added: “The coronavirus outbreak continues to develop globally, and it is difficult to predict the potential impact it may have on our business. The group is continuing to monitor the situation closely and regional management teams are ready to react as developments unfold.” 

Despite the wider economic headwinds, Dorman said the company’s focus on contract and STEM, combined with the efforts of employees worldwide, “has enabled us to continue to deliver a robust level of net fees”.

Highlights for Q1 ending 29 February 2020

  • Group net fees flat 
  • Strong growth in Germany up 7%, Netherlands up 3%
  • Growth across Technology, Life Sciences and Engineering
  • Contract net fees up 2%
  • 87% of group net fees generated from international markets (2019:86%)
  • Group average headcount up 5% year-on-year
  • Net cash of £9m

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