FINANCIALS: SThree’s Q3 trading update reveals ‘resilience’

STEM recruiter SThree’s trading update shows the global company’s net fees down 7% year-on-year amid ongoing macro-economic weakness.

In this week’s Q3 2023 trading update, however, contract net fees performance improved to flat year-on-year, now representing 84% of group net fees, compared to 77% in the comparable period of 2022.

Permanent net fees, which represent 16% of the group’s net fees, were down 31% year-on-year, “reflecting both market conditions and our strategic investment towards contract in specific markets”, the company said.

In SThree’s largest three markets, which represent 73% of net fees, the Netherlands grew 5%, while Germany was down 6% and the US was down 19%.

In specific sector areas, engineering was up 20%, technology down 6% and life sciences down 24%. 

The balance sheet at 31 August 2023 was strong with net cash of £83m, compared to £57m at the same time last year.

SThree CEO Timo Lehne described the company’s performance as “resilient”. He went on to say: “Our long-term opportunity is clear, underpinned by structural megatrends driving the acute need for scarce STEM talent… with all lead indicators of the group’s performance monitored closely, we look ahead to the opportunities facing us with optimism.”

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