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Recruiter SThree eyes strong annual earnings, defers spending

By Reuters

-SThree forecast on Monday its annual earnings significantly above market estimates, as the British recruitment company deferred its plans to increase investments to fiscal 2022 and beyond.

Recruitment companies around the world were hammered last year as the pandemic brought new hiring almost to a halt. But, a ramp-up in vaccinations and re-opening of some economies have started encouraging many companies to resume taking on staff.

SThree said it now expects profit before tax for the year through Nov. 30, 2021 to be above company-compiled estimate of 51.4 million pounds ($71.03 million). The company previously had forecast earnings to be ahead of a consensus target of 45.4 million pounds.

SThree, which provides recruitment services for permanent and contractor jobs in around 16 countries, did not provide details on why it was shelving the investment plan.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Dorman told Reuters in July that its clients were thinking carefully about what hybrid means for them, including what work can be done in office physically or remotely, although he added that remote and hybrid work schedules have opened up a wider talent pool for employers.

SThree, which is focused on recruitment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, said group net fees for the third quarter was up 29%, with very strong growth in its three largest markets – Germany, the United States and the Netherlands.

($1 = 0.7236 pounds)