* First-half gross profit rises 10 pct to 100.9 mln stg
* First-half contract gross profit up 22 pct at constant
(Adds CEO comment from statement, details, background)
June 13 White-collar recruiter SThree Plc
on Friday posted a 10 percent rise in first-half gross
profit, as signs of a recovery in the UK as well as the United
States nudged firms to bring more temporary employees on board.
The London-listed company said gross profit or net fee
income - a relevant performance indicator for recruitment
companies - rose to 100.9 million pounds ($169.4 million) in the
six months ended June 1 from 91.6 million pounds a year earlier.
Excluding the impact of currency movements, gross profit was
up 13 percent.
Hiring across SThree's markets saw an uptick, with firms
stepping up their intake of recruits as the economic recovery,
particularly in the Americas and the UK, gained steam.
Gross profit from temporary hires, which accounts for 60
percent of SThree's earnings, grew 22 percent at constant
While it was wary of extrapolating the trend for the full
year from the seasonally less significant first half, SThree
Chief Executive Gary Elden said its "contract book and the
slowly improving outlook for permanent underpins our confidence
in the medium term prospects for the business."
SThree, whose brands include Huxley Associates, Progressive
and Computer Futures, recruits for a range of sectors such as
information technology, financial, energy and pharmaceuticals.
The staffing company also said that gross profit from
placements made for banking and financials clients increased by
20 percent, at constant currency.
The latest numbers make SThree the first among peers such as
Hays Plc, Michael Page International Plc and
Robert Walters Plc to report a pickup in the banking
Demand for accountants and financial graduates was on the
rebound in the UK, outranking the need for IT and computing as
well as medical professionals, according to a report released by
the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG last
SThree's shares closed at 394.50 pence on the London Stock
Exchange on Thursday.
($1 = 0.5956 British pounds)
(Reporting By Esha Vaish in Bangalore; Editing by Sunil Nair)