SThree profit falls in first quarter

City A.M. Reporter

RECRUITER SThree this morning said first-quarter profit fell three per cent, as employers in Britain and continental Europe continued to shy away from recruiting permanent hires.

SThree, which recruits information technology staff for the financial, energy and pharmaceutical industries in continental Europe and the UK, said its permanent hiring deal pipeline was down 13 per cent.

In an interim management statement today, the staffing firm said gross profit fell to £45.5m in the first quarter ended 24 February from £47.7m a year earlier.

Gross profit in the permanent hiring business fell 12 per cent to £20.9m, offsetting the six per cent growth in contract hiring to £24.5m. The permanent hiring business contributes about half of overall gross profit.

Chief executive Gary Elden welcomed the "solid start to the year", against a "backdrop of weaker macroeconomic conditions".

"Our balanced business model and experienced management team give us confidence that we will make the best of the market opportunity in 2013, whilst managing the business prudently for the medium term," he added.