SThree reports 8% decline in net fees for the year due to pandemic effects

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SThree PLC (LON:STEM) said it is pondering future dividend payments after net fees for the past year fell by 8% as demand for staffing was hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The science, technology, engineering and mathematics staffing specialist said it had net cash of £50mln at its November 30 year-end, up from £11mln a year ago, with total accessible liquidity of £155mln.

After a “significant” improvement in performance in the fourth quarter over the third, the group recently said its full-year profit before tax would be better than previously expected.

Contract net fees, which represents 76% of the group total, were down 7%, while permanent net fees fell 13%.

Some 89% of group net fees generated over the year were from international markets, up from 87% the year before.

In the trading statement, SThree chief executive Mark Dorman said: “The crisis has clearly demonstrated, not just for our business but for many businesses, how important it is to be anchored with a clear purpose and a robust strategy. From these foundations, our teams have worked incredibly hard to strengthen bonds with clients and candidates whilst quickly adapting their services to suit the dramatic changes in 2020.”

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