Weak UK, Irish operations hurt recruiter SThree's profit

June 7 Fri Jun 7, 2013 2:33am EDT

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June 7 (Reuters) - Staffing company SThree Plc said first-half gross profit fell 6 percent as it recruited fewer permanent hires, particularly in the UK and Ireland.

Gross profit fell to 94 million pounds ($145.9 million) for the six months ended May 26, from 99.9 million pounds a year earlier.

Permanent recruiting recorded a 15 percent decline in gross profit on a constant currency basis. SThree said permanent recruiting in the UK and Ireland -- which made up a little over a third of the overall gross profit in 2012 -- dropped 24 percent.

Gross profit from contract hires rose across all SThree's markets except the UK and Ireland, which decreased by 5 percent.

SThree said it maintained an interim dividend of 4.7 pence per share.