FINANCIALS: Pandemic accelerated trends in our favour, says SThree CEO

The CEO of international STEM recruiter SThree says the group is well positioned to take advantage of the accelerating trends for demand for STEM skills and the growth of flexible working.

Mark Dorman (pictured) added that the “the current pandemic has accelerated those trends in our favour”. 

After the group, which has offices in 16 countries serving 70 different jurisdictions, reported a 7% decline in group net fees for the half-year ending 31 May 2020, Dorman told Recruiter that despite the impact of Covid “we are pleased with our performance and the resilience of our net fees”. And “while in the short term, [Covid] has impacted profits”, he said: “We continue to sit at the centre of these long-term secular trends; STEM talent and flexible working. And actually the current pandemic just accelerated those trends in our favour.”

Dorman said that “the results are a story off two very different quarters”, with the impact of Covid being reflected in Q2 when net fees declined by 12%. Contract net fees, which make up 76% of group net fees declined by 11% in Q2. However, Dorman said that with only 2% of the group’s staff currently furloughed, it had proved – through a mixture of remote working in countries, such as the UK, and working from its offices, such as Germany where all its offices are open, albeit with only around half the usual number of staff – its ability to continue to operate effectively irrespective of local conditions.

In view of the volatility of the market, Dorman said the company wasn’t providing guidance as to its future performance. However, in a company statement, he said: “Whilst times ahead remain uncertain, we have a strong financial position, a great opportunity, and we are united behind our strategy which will guide us through the second half and beyond.”

Last week, Alistair Cox, CEO of Hays, described as “extremely tough conditions in all regions”, as Hays reported a 34% fall in net fees for the quarter ending 30 June, with profits forecasted to come in at £130m-£135m down from £249m last year.

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