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SThree: Replacement Final Results -2-

DJ SThree: Replacement Final Results

SThree (STEM) 
SThree: Replacement Final Results 
 
27-Jan-2020 / 08:52 GMT/BST 
Dissemination of a Regulatory Announcement that contains inside information according to REGULATION (EU) 
No 596/2014 (MAR), transmitted by EQS Group. 
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement. 
 
A number of non-material typographical changes have been made to the Final Results announcement released 
on 27.01.2020 at 07:00, specifically a number of figures in the Consolidated Income Statement. 
 
SThree plc 
 
("SThree" or the "Group") 
 
Final results for the year ended 30 November 2019 
 
STHREE ANNOUNCES RECORD REVENUE AND OPERATING PROFIT 
 
SThree, the only global pure play specialist staffing business focused on roles in STEM (Science, 
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), is today announcing its final results for the year ended 30 
November 2019. 
 
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS 
 
                 2019              2018            Variance 
           Adjusted Reported Adjusted Reported Movement Constant 
                (1)               (2)            (3) 
 
                                                        Currency 
 
                                                        Movement 
                                                          (4) 
Revenue (GBP  1,345.0  1,345.0  1,258.2  1,258.2      +7%      +6% 
million) 
Contract      254.6    254.6    232.1    232.1     +10%      +8% 
net fees 
(GBP 
million) 
Permanent      87.8     87.8     89.0     89.0      -1%      -3% 
net fees 
(GBP 
million) 
Net Fees      342.4    342.4    321.1    321.1      +7%      +5% 
(GBP 
million) 
Operating      60.0     57.7     53.9     47.5     +11%      +9% 
profit (GBP 
million) 
Conversion    17.5%    16.9%    16.8%    14.8%    +0.7%    +0.6% 
ratio (%)                                           pts      pts 
Profit         59.1     56.8     53.4     47.0     +11%      +9% 
before 
taxation 
(GBP 
million) 
Basic         33.2p    31.8p    30.7p    26.6p      +8%      +7% 
earnings 
per share 
(pence) 
Proposed      10.2p    10.2p     9.8p     9.8p      +4%      +4% 
final 
dividend 
(pence) 
Total         15.3p    15.3p    14.5p    14.5p      +6%      +6% 
dividend 
(pence) 
Net            10.6     10.6    (4.1)    (4.1)        -        - 
cash/(debt 
) (GBP 
million) 
 
(1) 2019 figures exclude the impact of GBP2.3 million in net exceptional strategic restructuring costs and 
CEO change costs. 
 
(2) 2018 figures exclude the impact of GBP6.4 million in exceptional strategic restructuring costs. 
 
(3) Variance compares adjusted 2019 against adjusted 2018 to provide a like-for-like view. 
 
(4) Variance compares adjusted 2019 against adjusted 2018 on a constant currency basis, whereby the 
prior financial year foreign exchange rates are applied to current financial year results to remove the 
impact of exchange rate fluctuations. 
 
(5) Net cash/(debt) represents cash & cash equivalents less borrowings and bank overdrafts. 
 
HIGHLIGHTS 
 
· Record revenue and profit for the Group 
 
· Revenue of GBP1.35bn up by 6%* 
 
· Adjusted operating profit grew by 9%* to GBP60.0m, a record level for the Group 
 
· Adjusted profit before tax up 11% YoY to GBP59.1m (2018: GBP53.4m) 
 
· Reported profit before tax up 21% YoY to GBP56.8m (2018: GBP47.0m) 
 
· Strategic focus driving net fees growth for the full year of 5%* 
 
· Strong growth in USA, Continental Europe and Asia Pacific & Middle East 
 
· Good growth across Technology, Life Sciences, Energy & Engineering 
 
· 86% of Group net fees generated from international markets (2018: 83%) 
 
· Strong growth in Contract net fees up 8%*, in line with strategy, now representing 74% of Group 
net fees (2018: 72%) 
 
· Permanent net fees down 3%* 
 
· Further improvements in operational performance 
 
· 0.6% pts* improvement in conversion ratio to 17.5%, reflecting strong trading performance and cost 
savings delivered from the restructuring of support functions 
 
· Bolstered management teams 
 
· Implemented new strategic process and defined new strategic pillars 
 
· Strong cash conversion underpins 6% increase in full year dividend to 15.3p (2018: 14.5p) 
 
· Year-end net cash position of GBP10.6m; underlining the cash flow resilience of our Contract emphasis 
and tighter working capital management. 
 
* In constant currency 
 
Mark Dorman, CEO, commented: 
 
"I am pleased to be reporting today on a record year for the Group, during which we delivered an 
 adjusted operating profit of GBP60.0m. This performance is a result of the hard work delivered throughout 
the business over the period. Our focus on STEM and flexible working is delivering good overall growth 
despite a challenging trading background. 
 
Looking to the year ahead, we will continue to build our scalable platform. We will continue to invest 
in our people, data and technology as we execute against our focused strategy as outlined at our recent 
Capital Markets Day. Whilst early in the year, we can see that broader macro-economic and political 
uncertainties may well persist, and the trading environment remains similar to Q4. We have the right 
strategy, are in the right sectors and geographies, and our Contract focus will allow us to drive 
another year of progress towards our ambitions. 
 
We have a unique position at the centre of long-term secular global trends and are focused on the right 
markets which will stand us in good stead for the future. In addition, we are building a platform 
business with the systems to increase the effectiveness of our execution. The opportunity for us is 
significant, and we are very well placed to capitalise on it, driving sustainable value for all of our 
stakeholders." 
 
SThree will host a live presentation and conference call for analysts at 0930 GMT today. The conference 
call participant telephone details are as follows: 
 
Dial in: 0800 358 9473 
 
Call passcode: 90161391# 
 
This event will also be simultaneously audio webcast, at http://bit.ly/STEM_FY19 [1]. Please note that 
this is a listen only facility. An archive of the presentation will be available via the same link 
following the event. 
 
SThree will issue Q1 trading update on Monday 16 March 2020. 
 
Enquiries: 
 
SThree plc 020 7268 6000 
 
Mark Dorman, Chief Executive Officer 
 
Alex Smith, Chief Financial Officer 
 
Shaun Zulafqar, Senior Company Secretarial Assistant 
 
Alma PR 020 3405 0205 
 
Rebecca Sanders-Hewett SThree@almapr.co.uk 
 
Hilary Buchanan 
 
Notes to editors 
 
SThree is the only global pure play specialist staffing business focused on roles in STEM (Science, 
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). It brings skilled people together to build the future through 
the provision of specialist Contract and Permanent services to a diverse client base of over 9,000 
clients. From its well-established position as a major player in the Technology sector, the Group has 
broadened the base of its operations to include businesses serving the Banking & Finance, Energy, 
Engineering and Life Sciences sectors. 
 
Since launching its original business, Computer Futures, in 1986, the Group has adopted a multi-brand 
strategy, establishing new operations to address growth opportunities. SThree brands include 
Progressive, Computer Futures, Huxley Associates and Real Staffing Group. The Group has circa 3,100 
employees in sixteen countries. 
 
SThree plc is quoted on the Official List of the UK Listing Authority under the ticker symbol STEM and 
also has a USA level one ADR facility, symbol SERTY. 
 
Important notice 
 
Certain statements in this announcement are forward looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking 
statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties or assumptions that could cause actual results or 
events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by those statements. Forward-looking 
statements regarding past trends or activities should not be taken as representation that such trends or 
activities will continue in the future. Data from the announcement is sourced from unaudited internal 
management information. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed on forward looking statements. 
 
CHairman's statement 
 
I'm proud that SThree delivered in 2019 a record performance in terms of revenue, profitability and 
market penetration as we focused more tightly on providing our customers with the best STEM talent, our 
candidates with the opportunity to fulfil their ambitions and potential, and our employees with engaging 
and rewarding work. This is all the more impressive given a complex and somewhat unpredictable 
macro-economic and political backdrop in some of our main markets. 
 
Our purpose remains compelling and unchanged: bringing skilled people together to build the future. It 
is this purpose that governs our responsibility to all stakeholders. We have spent considerable effort 
and attention during the year to ensure that we are closer to our customers and candidate communities, 
and this remains a key future priority of the Group, together with enhancing our offering to employees 
and communicating better with our investors. We are pleased about the role that our business plays in 
wider society and have re-energised our CSR activities and implemented new initiatives under our ESG 
strategy. It is also significant that we have set ourselves a bold new target of reducing our absolute 
carbon emissions by 20% by 2024, helping to address one of the world's key challenges. 
 
The achievements in the year are in no small part the result of our exceptional, committed and 
entrepreneurial team. As signalled last year, Gary Elden stepped down as CEO in March after nearly 30 
years in the business, the last six of them as CEO. Gary was responsible for setting a number of the 
business foundations we have in place today and which provide an enviable springboard for future growth. 
We wish him all the best in his new endeavours and thank him for his leadership and direction. I would 

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

January 27, 2020 03:54 ET (08:54 GMT)

also like to thank Justin Hughes, who stepped down as COO in July, for his significant contribution over 
the last 25 years. 
 
We were pleased to welcome Mark Dorman as CEO in March, bringing to SThree a wealth of experience in 
scaling international business service operations, delivering compelling strategies and leading great 
teams. He has already shown himself to be an ambitious and insightful leader, and I look forward to 
continuing to work with him. The Board and I are confident that his relentless focus on value creation 
for all our stakeholders will be indispensable as we scale further. During the year we also made a 
number of significant appointments to our leadership teams around the world, bolstering our capabilities 
as we take the business into its next stages of growth. 
 
In November we held our Capital Markets Day in London to update investors on our vision, strategic 
evolution and blueprint for success. Our huge market opportunity is also clear, and we are proud to have 
crystallised our strategy and pathway to sustainable future growth. 
 
On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our thanks for the tireless effort our colleagues put in 
every day to make SThree a trusted partner to our many customers and candidates. It is their drive and 
dedication to our purpose that elevates SThree as a global leader and partner of choice. It has been a 
pleasure for the Board and individual Board members to spend time visiting a number of our offices over 
the year, seeing the work being delivered across our platform, from our excellent operations and 
technology activities in Glasgow to the local market leadership we enjoy in Amsterdam. 
 
Corporate governance remains a priority and focus of the business and we have set ourselves FTSE 
250-appropriate targets and aspirations. We are also focused on initiatives to enhance diversity and 
inclusion across our organisation and remain committed to ensuring that all of our employees' voices are 
heard at every level. 
 
A sense of excitement for the future is palpable across SThree. Our recently refined and newly 
articulated strategy provides us with confidence in our long-term success, supported by strong 
structural market drivers around STEM and flexible working, a great team and a corporate purpose that 
seems ever more relevant to meet many of the world's future challenges and opportunities. 
 
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER'S STRATEGIC REVIEW 
 
The only global pure play STEM specialist[1] 
 
SThree is at the centre of STEM and this has enabled us to deliver a robust financial performance in 
what has been one of the most uncertain macro-economic and political periods since 2008. Over the year 
we have built on the strong foundations that were in place when I took over. Our continued focus on 
STEM, and our scale and global footprint in the right markets, combined with our ability to provide a 
full staffing solution for all our clients' needs means that we have delivered an all-time record profit 
performance. 
 
Group net fees were up 5%* in the year. The growth was largely delivered, as expected, through our key 
territories of Continental Europe and USA; the former was driven by our market-leading businesses in 
Germany and the Netherlands which together saw growth of 8%*, whilst the latter was up 9%*. We also made 
improvements in our other target markets, including a stand-out performance from our growing team in 
Japan, up 43%*. From a sector point of view, we saw robust growth across the Group, with Technology up 
7%*, Life Sciences up 5%*, and Energy & Engineering up 14%*. 
 
This performance is a result of the hard work delivered both strategically and operationally, and we 
continue to move closer to delivering on our vision of being the number one science, technology, 
engineering and mathematics ('STEM') recruiter in the best STEM markets. 
 
Bringing skilled people together to build the future 
 
It is clear to see our purpose of bringing skilled people together to build the future in action through 
the work that has been delivered in the period. The wide range of placements that we have made include, 
for example, a Regulatory Affairs Consultant, who ensures life-changing medical devices meet the highest 
possible safety standards before going to market, a Commissioning Manager whose planning and execution 
of key renewable energy projects is helping to make the world a greener place, as well as a significant 
number of solar technicians who are providing homes and businesses across the US with 
environmentally-friendly solar energy. We provide a company's most important asset - its people - to the 
businesses that are at the centre of some of the biggest challenges going on in the world today. We are 
very pleased to be a true partner to those businesses, helping them build the future. 
 
The scale of the growth and change as a result of the need for STEM skills going forward should not be 
underestimated. Addressing some of the biggest issues such as climate change and the huge demographic 
shifts is just the start. Skilled people are needed to solve these global challenges and drive the 
future. This creates a huge opportunity as many of those skills, while still in high demand, are also in 
short supply, irrespective of where we are in terms of economic cycle. 
 
We truly understand the dynamics of our markets, both as they are now and where they are headed. Our 
knowledge of the STEM markets, the needs of businesses operating within them and the niche, local talent 
we have built trusted relationships with is unrivalled. This is supported by our ability to deliver a 
full set of resourcing solutions to our clients, whether that be Contract or Permanent, to support with 
incoming legislation, and to develop supply though the cultivation of candidate communities. 
 
Alongside this, there are two factors driving the demand for flexible working. There is a generation of 
people entering the global labour force that have a very different view of the workplace. Millennials 
and Generation Z, particularly those with STEM skills, see their career through the lens of the various 
projects that they work on rather than the companies they work for. At the same time, more and more 
companies are looking for contingent workers and flexible workforces, whether on large scale capital 
projects in Engineering or Life Sciences, or whether they're looking to upgrade their technology and 
their innovation sphere project by project. These dynamics continue to drive the need for the right 
talent in a supply constrained environment. 
 
Our ability to find great talent and to curate that talent to make sure that it matches the right 
opportunity is the reason we are able to benefit from both of these trends. We are expert in engaging 
with both the client and the candidate all the way through a project, standardising our processes across 
the globe and ensuring the client and candidate come to our teams for their solutions going forward, 
making it a truly repeatable process. Our scale allows us to deliver this offering across the globe, in 
an increasingly complex regulatory environment for our clients. Our scale, expertise and culture make us 
the partner of choice. 
 
A scalable platform business able to drive further growth 
 
A key milestone of the year has been the development and articulation of a refocused strategy for the 
business that sets us up well to scale the business effectively and deliver consistently into the 
future. 
 
The long-term secular trends towards more flexible working manifests itself differently in the 70 
different jurisdictions in which we place talent. In order to meet this opportunity, SThree has built a 
set of scalable service offerings, which are recurring in nature and which we deploy globally, allowing 
for long-term sustainable growth. 
 
One of the important defining characteristics of SThree is our entrepreneurial spirit. It is truly a 
pleasure to be working with a team that generates an abundance of new opportunities and good ideas. Our 
future success will be reliant on our ability to channel those ideas and ensure we choose the right 
opportunities to focus on. As such, we have implemented a 'managing for value' programme process which 
assesses the economic value that would be created by each idea, and allows us to rank them by the 
economic rate of return. This allows us to create real structure to help us execute our strategy across 
five areas of focus - our current geographies and markets, investment in sales and marketing, the use of 
data to enhance our decision making, to help drive our business and innovation, while building on our 
operational capabilities. 
 
Alongside the use of data to inform our business decisions we are also able to utilise valuable exhaust 
data from the activity across our business. We understand what is going on in the STEM markets through 
the work we do, and this knowledge enables us to have the right people in the right place to help our 
clients. An example of this is the use of data points, internal and external, in order to select the 
optimum industry/skill base to invest in. This allows us to maximise productivity of our consultants and 
scale appropriately within an industry/skill base. 
 
We maintain our focus on embracing new technologies and believe that this should be central to 
everything we do. This will drive efficiency across our scalable, platform business and support the 
delivery to our customers. We will continue to capitalise on trends to remain relevant to our customers 
in a new digital era, whether that being new ways of working or incremental improvements on an ongoing 
basis. 
 
Building on our operational capabilities will underpin our execution going forward. Our creation of the 
Centre of Excellence in Glasgow was a foundational step in building first class global operations to 
create operational scale and leverage. From that foundational step we'll continue to invest as we move 
forward, enhancing our platform for growth. 
 
Our six previous strategic pillars have been refined and we are now focused on executing across four key 

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

January 27, 2020 03:54 ET (08:54 GMT)

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