SThree profit rises

SThree said group gross profit (GP) was up 5% year-on-year in the third quarter, with sustained momentum from the second quarter when Group GP grew by 4%.

HIGHLIGHTS:

- Solid growth across Engineering up 5% YoY, Life Sciences up 3% and Global Energy up 35%

- Strong growth in USA up 20% YoY

- Robust performance in Continental Europe up 6% YoY

UK&I remains challenging down 10% YoY, in line with management expectations

- Contract GP up 9% YoY, with strong growth across Engineering up 10%, Life Sciences up 13% and Energy up 37%

- Permanent GP down 6% YoY, broadly in line with average sales headcount down 7%

- 80% of Group GP generated outside the UK&I (2016: 76%)

- Group period-end sales headcount up 3% on the 2016 year-end position, and up 4% YoY

- Full year 2017 adjusted profit before tax expected to be ahead of current consensus. Consensus for the year ended 30 November 2017 is £42.4m, with a range of £39.3m to £45.6m

CEO Gary Elden commented: "We are pleased with our sustained momentum in the period, with gross profit showing a sequential increase over Q2.

"A robust performance in Continental Europe and further strong growth in the USA were particular highlights and our Contract business is continuing to drive growth across the group.

"We are well-positioned for the final quarter and now expect to deliver a full year result ahead of current consensus."