The recruitment specialist’s contractor order book is up 43% year-on-year
SThree, specialist recruitment firm reported “record performance” this week with net fees rising 19% at constant currency year-on-year to £355.7m – a reported all-time high for the business.
The London-listed firm reported “strong” global growth with 23% in Germany, 24% in the US, and 19% in the Netherlands. Those three are SThree’s largest markets and account for 74% of the group’s net fees.
Contract and permanent net fees were up 17% and 24% year-on-year, respectively, with contract net fees representing 75% of group net fees, compared to 76% in 2020, with the contractor order book up 43% year-on-year.
The group also reported a record adjusted profit before tax of £60m, up 111% year-on-year.
The board described the balance sheet as “robust”, balance sheet, with net cash totalling £58m at year-end on 30 November, up from £50m at the end of the 2020 financial year.
It proposed a final dividend of 8p per share, up from 5p a year earlier, taking the full-year dividend to 11p from 5p year-on-year.
That was in line with the company’s dividend cover target of between 2.5x and 3.0x, as previously communicated.
SThree reported that the strength of its contractor order book and recent trading was tracking ahead of expectations, with the directors now anticipating double-digit net fee and profit growth for 2022.
On the environmental, social and governance front, they said its renewables business – accounting for 6% of net fees – was up 22% from 2020, which was ahead of its target to double the share of that business from 2019 to 2024.
Timo Lehne, interim CEO of STHree commented: “Our record-breaking full-year performance reported today demonstrates that we have a robust strategy focusing on STEM and flexible working, implemented by a talented management team, and the hard work of our people globally. As the market rebounded in 2021 following the impact of COVID-19, we saw demand for STEM skills increase across all of our key markets.
“Whether it is engineers building green infrastructure, developers aiding digital transformation or the scientists helping to develop the next life-changing drug, we are proud to have placed more than 22,000 skilled people and, combined with our ESG efforts, we impacted over 33,000 lives this financial year.”
“We are well-positioned, we demonstrated our ability to navigate through unforeseen challenges, such as COVID-19, and we continue to evolve our delivery model.”
The CEO said it would further invest in its infrastructure and people in 2022, to enhance its platform and drive accelerated margins in future years.