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RNS
SThree plc  -  STHR   

Interim results for the half year ended 31.05.16

Released 07:00 11-Jul-2016

RNS Number : 7183D
SThree plc
11 July 2016
 

11 July 2016

SThree plc

("SThree" or the "Group")

 

Interim results for the half year ended 31 May 2016

 

SThree, the international specialist staffing business, is today announcing its interim results for the half year ended 31 May 2016.

 

Financial Highlights

 

H1 2016

H1 2015(2)

Variance

 

Adjusted(1)

As reported

Adjusted

As reported

 

£m

£m

£m

%

%

Revenue

443.5

443.5

403.6

+8%*

+10%

Gross profit

119.8

119.8

110.5

+6%*

+8%

Operating profit

15.3

13.0

14.1

+9%

-8%

Operating profit conversion ratio

12.8%

10.9%

12.8%

-

-1.9% pts

Profit before taxation

15.1

12.8

13.8

+9%

-7%

Basic earnings per share

8.6p

7.3p

7.3p

+18%

-

Interim dividend per share

4.7p

4.7p

4.7p

-

-

(1)Adjusted for the impact of £2.3m of costs in relation to the restructuring of the Energy, Banking & Finance and UK businesses and right sizing of the central support functions

(2) The figures exclude the impact of a £0.4m exceptional gain related to the disposal of IT Job Board in H1 2015

 

Operational Highlights

·    Adjusted operating profit up 9% year on year ("YoY") to £15.3m (H1 2015: £14.1m) with adjusted operating profit conversion ratio unchanged at 12.8% (H1 2015: 12.8%)

·      Gross profit ("GP") up 6%* YoY and ahead by 11%* excluding Energy

Continued strong growth across ICT (up 18%* YoY)

Strongest growth in Continental Europe (up 18%* YoY)

USA GP up 6%* YoY (up 20%* excluding Energy), reflecting tough trading conditions in the Energy and Banking & Finance sectors

UK market impacted by uncertainty in lead up to EU referendum and slowdown in Banking & Finance sector  - GP down 5%* YoY

Conditions in the Energy market remain challenging - GP down 31%* YoY

·      Contract GP up 11%* YoY and ahead by 14%* excluding Energy. Contract now accounts for 67% of Group GP (H1 2015: 64%)

·      Permanent GP down 2%* YoY but productivity improved by 5% YoY following a decrease in average sales headcount of 7%. Permanent GP excluding Energy up 6%* YoY

·      Group period end sales headcount down 2% on the 2015 year-end position and up 4% YoY, driven by investment in Contract. Average sales headcount up 6% YoY

·      Improved balance sheet position with net debt of £4.4m (H1 2015: net debt of £9.5m).

 

* Variances in constant currency

  

Gary Elden, CEO, commented: "We experienced mixed trading conditions in the period.  Our Contract business, which now represents more than two thirds of the Group, continued to perform well, with gross profit increasing by 11%* year on year.  ICT growth was strong, with gross profit ahead by 18%* year on year, and Continental Europe was once again our fastest growing region.  However, slowdowns in the global banking market and in the UK, and the ongoing weakness in Energy, all impacted on our first half growth rate. 

 

"While it is too early to assess the impact of the EU Referendum result, the effect on client and candidate confidence in our UK business will become clearer as we trade through our seasonally more important second half.        

 

"Looking ahead, the Group's weighting towards the more resilient Contract market, where we continue to see good growth momentum, and our diversified portfolio of geographies and sectors, give us confidence that we can optimise our performance, whatever the prevailing market opportunity." 

 

SThree will host a live presentation and conference call for analysts at 0900 BST today. The conference call participant telephone details are as follows:

 

Dial in:

+44 (0) 20 3003 2666

 

 

 

 

Call passcode:

SThree

 

 

This event will also be simultaneously audio webcast, hosted on the SThree website at http://www.sthree.com. Note that this is a listen only facility and an archive of the presentation will be available via the same link later.

 

SThree will be announcing its Q3 Interim Management Statement on Friday 9 September 2016.

 

Enquiries:

 

SThree plc

020 7268 6000

Gary Elden, Chief Executive Officer

 

Alex Smith, Chief Financial Officer

 

Sarah Anderson, Deputy Company Secretary/ Investor Relations

 

 

 

Citigate Dewe Rogerson

020 7638 9571

Kevin Smith / Jos Bieneman

 

 

Notes to editors

 

SThree is a leading international specialist staffing business, providing permanent and contract specialist staff to a diverse client base of over 7,000 clients. From its well-established position as a major player in the Information and Communications Technology ("ICT") 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 Computer Futures, Huxley Associates, Progressive and The Real Staffing Group. The Group has circa 2,900 employees in fifteen countries.

 

SThree plc is quoted on the Official List of the UK Listing Authority under the ticker symbol STHR and also has a US 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.

 

 

INTERIM MANAGEMENT REPORT

 

ChIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER'S ReVIEW

 

Overview

We delivered Group GP for the period up 6%* (up 11%* excluding Energy), driven by positive results from our continued investment in Contract, our drive to build productivity in Permanent and our ability to capitalise on opportunities in key markets, especially Continental Europe and the USA. 

 

Underlying performances by region and sector were mixed. We saw some continued strong performances:

Contract GP increased by 11%*, or 14%* excluding Energy;

Continental Europe was our fastest growing region, led by Germany, where GP was ahead by 22%*; and 

ICT growth was robust, with GP ahead by 18%*

 

This good progress was offset to some extent by ongoing weakness in the Oil and Gas market, a slow-down in the UK, particularly in Banking & Finance, and a lower rate of growth in the USA, where GP was ahead by 6%*.

 

The rate of growth YoY dropped from Q1 into Q2, especially in Permanent. 

The conversion ratio for GP into operating profit remained flat as we invested across the business in 2015 and in H1 2016, especially in the USA. Headcount build remained modest, with Group period-end sales headcount down 2% on the 2015 year-end position and up 4% YoY as we rebalance our Permanent business and remix our sales heads to reflect the current trading environment.  Our focus in H2 is primarily on improving yields in both Permanent and Contract. 

 

 

 

GP

 

 

Average Sales Headcount

 

 

 

Growth* YoY

HY 2016 Mix

Growth YoY

 

 

 

Cont

Perm

Total

Cont

Perm

Cont

Perm

Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group

 

Q1 16

+11%

+9%

+10%

 

 

+16%

-6%

+6%

 

Q2 16

+10%

-12%

+2%

 

 

+17%

-7%

+6%

 

HY 16

+11%

-2%

+6%

67%

33%

+17%

-7%

+6%

 

 

 

 

GP

 

 

Average Sales Headcount

 

 

 

Growth* YoY

HY 2016 Mix

Growth YoY

 

 

 

Cont

Perm

Total

Cont

Perm

Cont

Perm

Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group (excluding Energy)

 

Q1 16

+15%

+21%

+17%

 

 

+21%

+8%

+15%

 

Q2 16

+13%

-6%

+6%

 

 

+21%

+4%

+13%

 

HY 16

+14%

+6%

+11%

65%

35%

+21%

+6%

+14%

 

 

 

Breakdown of GP

HY 2016

%

HY 2015

%

FY 2015

%

Geographical Split

 

 

 

UK&I

27%

30%

30%

Continental Europe

48%

44%

44%

USA

19%

18%

19%

Asia Pac & Middle East

6%

8%

7%

 

100%

100%

100%

Sector Split

 

 

 

ICT

45%

41%

41%

Banking & Finance

16%

18%

18%

Energy

8%

12%

11%

Engineering

9%

9%

9%

Life Sciences

20%

18%

19%

Other Sectors

2%

2%

2%

 

100%

100%

100%

 

 

Operating Review

Business Mix

Contract is well suited to our STEM market focus and geographical mix. It remained the key area of focus and growth throughout the period, while Permanent headcount was reduced in a number of key locations to reflect market conditions, especially in the UK&I.

 

Our Contract business maintained its robust performance. Contract GP was up 11%* YoY (up 14%* excluding Energy), with average sales headcount up 17% (up 21% excluding Energy).  Q2 was the tenth consecutive quarter of double digit GP growth achieved by Contract since it was given greater strategic focus. We exit the period with runners up 7% YoY and period-end gross profit per day rates up 2%*. As well as being an important driver of GP growth, our investment in Contract makes us more resilient in times of economic uncertainty and selective expansion of our Contract teams will be a key focus for the remainder of 2016.

 

Permanent GP, which represented 33% of Group GP, was down 2%* YoY, but - in line with a key strategic objective - we were successful in driving up productivity by 5%*.  Permanent GP excluding Energy was up by 6%*.

 

Permanent is more sensitive to market sentiment and has been hit harder by the weakening Banking & Finance market globally and uncertainty over the EU Referendum in the UK. Average Permanent fees remained robust YoY. Average sales headcount in our Permanent business was down 7% largely due to the reduction in our Energy business and a restructuring in the UK. We expect to invest in Permanent selectively in the remainder of 2016 where there is clear evidence of improving candidate and client confidence, but our primary focus will be on improving consultant yields.

 

Sector Highlights

Strong performances from ICT and continuing growth in Life Sciences and Engineering have offset the adverse impact of global economic conditions on Energy and Banking & Finance. Highlights of those sector developments that have had a global impact are provided below:

 

 

 

GP

 

 

Average Sales Headcount

 

 

 

Growth* YoY

HY 2016 Mix

Growth YoY

 

 

 

Cont

Perm

Total

Cont

Perm

Cont

Perm

Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ICT

45% of GP

 

Q1 16

+21%

+17%

+20%

 

 

+24%

+13%

+20%

 

Q2 16

+20%

+6%

+15%

 

 

+23%

+9%

+18%

 

HY 16

+20%

+11%

+18%

72%

28%

+24%

+11%

+19%

 

 

ICT is our largest and most established sector representing 45% of the Group GP and average sales headcount, consequently the majority of its business is in the more mature UK&I and European markets. GP for the period was up 18%* YoY with average sales headcount up 19%. Exciting ICT opportunities remain in the USA where we have invested for future growth in this vast, domestic, specialist staffing market.  USA ICT GP grew by 86%* in H1. 

 

 

 

GP

 

 

Average Sales Headcount

 

 

 

Growth* YoY

HY 2016 Mix

Growth YoY

 

 

 

Cont

Perm

Total

Cont

Perm

Cont

Perm

Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banking & Finance

16% of GP

 

Q1 16

+12%

-

+6%

 

 

+11%

-5%

+1%

 

Q2 16

-3%

-24%

-14%

 

 

+14%

-3%

+4%

 

HY 16

+4%

-14%

-5%

53%

47%

+12%

-4%

+3%

 

 

Uncertainty in the global banking markets adversely impacted our Banking & Finance business in H1, with GP down 5%* YoY.  Hiring freezes were put in place by a number of major banks and the industry is undergoing significant restructuring.  The UK banking market was also adversely impacted by uncertainty in the run-up to the EU Referendum in late June which caused managers to put hiring decisions on hold.  Our performance deteriorated in Q2.

 

 

 

 

GP

 

 

Average Sales Headcount

 

 

 

Growth* YoY

HY 2016 Mix

Growth YoY

 

 

 

Cont

Perm

Total

Cont

Perm

Cont

Perm

Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Energy

8% of GP

 

Q1 16

-15%

-77%

-34%

 

 

-12%

-84%

-45%

 

Q2 16

-7%

-77%

-28%

 

 

-7%

-89%

-40%

 

HY 16

-12%

-77%

-31%

90%

10%

-10%

-86%

-43%

 

 

Overall conditions in the Oil and Gas market remain challenging and although we continue to reshape our Energy teams, reducing our exposure to the Upstream Permanent market in particular, the newer opportunities will take time to develop.  The Contract runner book has declined from our year end position, but appears to have now stabilised.  Stronger comparatives impact the YoY results across the Group for Q2 and Q3.

 

Regional Growth

We saw growth across our international foot print, building scale and critical mass in our existing 43 offices in 15 countries, of which 31 are outside of the UK. Offices in Austin and Minneapolis were opened in the period to focus on growth opportunities in the USA ICT market.

 

 

 

GP

 

 

Average Sales Headcount

 

 

 

Growth* YoY

HY 2016 Mix

Growth YoY

 

 

 

Cont

Perm

Total

Cont

Perm

Cont

Perm

Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continental Europe

48% of GP

 

Q1 16

+17%

+25%

+20%

 

 

+14%

+1%

+8%

 

Q2 16

+20%

+8%

+16%

 

 

+13%

+4%

+9%

 

HY 16

+19%

+16%

+18%

65%

35%

+13%

+3%

+9%

 

Continental Europe is our largest and fastest growing region, with the key contributors to our business being Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Luxembourg.  These regional markets vary significantly in their level of maturity and competition, with Germany remaining the most significant structural growth opportunity.

 

This region delivered excellent growth in the period, up 18%* with growth across all main countries. Germany performed particularly well, with GP ahead by 22%*. In Continental Europe, we saw double digit growth in contract runners YoY creating a strong exit rate for Contract GP, as well as improved consultant productivity in Permanent.  Highlights in the region include the ICT sector up 19%*, Engineering up 37%* and Life Sciences sectors up 16%*. Average sales headcount was up 9% with Contract up 13% and Permanent up 3%.

 

 

 

GP

 

 

Average Sales Headcount

 

 

 

Growth* YoY

HY 2016 Mix

Growth YoY

 

 

 

Cont

Perm

Total

Cont

Perm

Cont

Perm

Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UK&I

27% of GP

 

Q1 16

-1%

+2%

-

 

 

+5%

-10%

-1%

 

Q2 16

-

-31%

-9%

 

 

+9%

-15%

-

 

HY 16

-1%

-17%

-5%

76%

24%

+7%

-12%

-1%

 

The UK&I is our longest established region and the business is increasingly Contract focused as we make the most of opportunities in the STEM market. EU Referendum uncertainty, weakness in the banking market and newly-introduced rate caps on Public Sector business are all impacting our UK performance. We have restructured our Permanent and Banking & Finance businesses in response to challenging market conditions. 

 

GP was down 5%* YoY, with the performance weakening in Q2, when GP was down by 9%* YoY. In H1, Energy was down 47%*, Banking & Finance down 19%*, and Engineering down 23%*. Contract headcount is expected to remain broadly flat for the remainder of the year and Permanent headcount will continue to reduce as we do not replace heads that churn and remix our headcount to maximise productivity.

 

 

 

GP

 

 

Average Sales Headcount

 

 

 

Growth* YoY

HY 2016 Mix

Growth YoY

 

 

 

Cont

Perm

Total

Cont

Perm

Cont

Perm

Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA

19% of GP

 

Q1 16

+20%

+2%

+14%

 

 

+61%

-1%

+32%

 

Q2 16

+10%

-15%

-

 

 

+53%

-18%

+20%

 

HY 16

+15%

-8%

+6%

67%

33%

+57%

-9%

+26%

 

The USA is the world's largest specialist STEM staffing market. It currently represents 19% of Group GP. Leveraging our increasing knowledge and experience of this exciting market, we have grown aggressively in our existing offices and by replicating our business model in new locations.  Average sales headcount is up 26% YoY and we expect to benefit from productivity gains in the future.  If appropriate businesses are identified, we may also acquire to help further accelerate our USA growth.

 

GP was up 6%* YoY (up 20%* excluding Energy), reflecting tough trading conditions in the Energy and Banking & Finance sectors. The Energy business went through a significant restructuring in 2015 and the Banking & Finance market was impacted in the second quarter as US investment banks cut back on hiring across the board. 

 

Our USA business is moving more towards Contract in response to the needs of its clients, with Contract GP up 15%*, average sales headcount up 57% and the period-end runner book up 8% YoY (excluding Energy, GP up 35%*, average sales headcount up 74%  and runners up 17%). We have countered the challenge posed by the adverse Energy market by investing heavily in ICT via our Computer Futures brand, which continued to grow strongly (up 86% YoY). While our USA ICT and Life Sciences Contract businesses continued to report good growth, some short term execution issues have meant that the productivity of new consultants has not moved forward at the expected rate.  We've now addressed this with a range of measures that will begin to take effect over the second half.        

 

Permanent GP is down YoY with average sales heads down 9% (excluding Energy, GP up 1%* and average sales headcount up 10%). Fees remained strong, reflecting the niche positioning of our proposition to our clients in the region.

 

 

 

GP

 

 

Average Sales Headcount

 

 

 

Growth* YoY

HY 2016 Mix

Growth YoY

 

 

 

Cont

Perm

Total

Cont

Perm

Cont

Perm

Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asia Pacific & Middle East

6% of GP

 

Q1 16

+3%

-21%

-13%

 

 

-4%

-24%

-19%

 

Q2 16

+3%

-27%

-18%

 

 

+6%

-15%

-9%

 

HY 16

+3%

-24%

-15%

39%

61%

+1%

-20%

-14%

 

Our Asia Pacific business principally includes Australia, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong and the Middle East mainly covers Dubai and Qatar.  These businesses were significantly impacted by the downturn in the Energy market and this is reflected in the YoY drop in GP in the period, down 15%*.  The Energy sector was down 44%* YoY and now represents 20% of the region (2015: 31%).  Asia Pacific is also feeling the impact of slowing growth in China with reduced demand for energy, mining and minerals and a tough banking market. The Middle East has, however, shown promising growth on Contract.

 

Outlook

 

"While it is too early to assess the impact of the EU Referendum result, the effect on client and candidate confidence in our UK business will become clearer as we trade through our seasonally more important second half.        

 

"Looking ahead, the Group's weighting towards the more resilient Contract market, where we continue to see good growth momentum, and our diversified portfolio of geographies and sectors, give us confidence that we can optimise our performance, whatever the prevailing market opportunity." 

 

* Variances in constant currency

 

 

ChIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER'S ReVIEW

 

Operating Profit

A 6%* growth in GP converted into a 9% growth in adjusted operating profit. The adjusted operating profit conversion ratio remained unchanged at 12.8% (H1 2015: 12.8%). The growth in the adjusted operating profit was moderated by investment in sales headcount and infrastructure. Reported operating profit reduced by 8% mainly due to one-off restructuring costs of £2.3m.

 

Restructuring

During the period, we undertook certain restructuring initiatives to address the weaknesses in our Energy, Banking & Finance and UK businesses and we further right-sized our central support functions. These actions resulted in one-off costs of £2.3m. The cash impact is expected to predominantly fall in the second half of the year. These costs arose as part of decisions made during the ordinary course of business. However, due to their nature and collective quantum, the costs have been separately highlighted to provide further information to shareholders to help them understand the Group's underlying results for the period ("Adjusted"). The Group's adjusted profit figures for the period are presented in various sections of this Interim Report.

 

Taxation

The reported taxation charge for the half year was £3.5m (H1 2015: £4.5m), representing an effective tax rate ("ETR") of 27% (FY 2015: 30%). The Group ETR primarily reflects our geographical profit mix. The 2015 comparative was higher than the profit mix would suggest due to the write-off of tax assets in Asia-Pac. In addition, in 2016 we expect to utilise some unrecognised tax assets in parts of Continental Europe due to improving profitability.

 

Earnings per Share ("EPS")

The adjusted basic EPS increased by 18% to 8.6p (H1 2015: 7.3p). The weighted average number of shares used for basic EPS increased by 2% to 128.5m (H1 2015: 126.3m). Adjusted diluted earnings per share increased by 21% to 8.2p (H1 2015: 6.8p). Share dilution mainly results from various share awards in place and unsettled tracker shares. The dilutive effect on EPS from tracker shares will vary in future periods depending on the profitability of the underlying tracker businesses, the volume of new tracker arrangements created and the settlement of vested arrangements.

 

Dividends

The Board proposes to pay an interim dividend of 4.7p (H1 2015: 4.7p) per share. This will be paid on 9 December 2016, to the shareholders on record at 4 November 2015. The total payment to shareholders on this date will be approximately £6.1m.

 

Cash Flow

We started the period with net cash of £6.2m. We generated cash from operations of £3.2m (H1 2015: £16.7m).

 

The cash outflow on capital expenditure increased to £4.0m (H1 2015: £3.7m) which broadly related to new office fit-outs and investment in software and system development costs as we continued to upgrade our sales technology platform and HR systems.

 

Cash outflow from previously recognised exceptional items was £0.6m (H1 2015: £2.4m). Income taxes paid decreased to £2.3m (H1 2015: £5.3m) and dividends were broadly unchanged at £6.0m (H1 2015: £5.9m). We also paid £4.6m for the purchase of own shares to satisfy future vesting of awards under employee share schemes (H1 2015: £nil).

 

We closed the period with net debt of £4.4m after favourable currency movements of £2.8m.

 

Treasury Management

We finance the Group's operations through equity and bank borrowings. We intend to continue this strategy while maintaining a strong balance sheet position. We have a committed revolving credit facility ("RCF") of £50m in place with RBS and HSBC which expires in May 2019. The RCF is subject to conventional covenants and funds borrowed under this facility bear interest at a minimum annual rate of 1.3% above 3 month Sterling LIBOR giving an average interest rate of 1.8% during the period (H1 2015: 1.8%).

 

The Group has a notional cash pool between its Eurozone subsidiaries and a UK-based treasury subsidiary.

 

Foreign Exchange

Foreign exchange volatility continues to be a significant factor in the reporting of the overall performance of the business with the main functional currencies of the Group being Sterling, the Euro and the US Dollar.

 

For H1 2016, currency movements versus Sterling provided a modest tailwind for the reported performance of the Group. The exchange rate movements increased our H1 2016 reported GP and operating profit by circa £2.0m and £0.3m, respectively.

 

Exchange rate movements remain a material sensitivity. By way of illustration, each 1 percent movement in average exchange rates of the Euro and the US Dollar impacted our H1 2016 GP by £0.6m and £0.2m respectively per annum; and H1 2016 operating profits by £0.2m and £nil, respectively.

 

The Board reviews its currency hedging strategy periodically to ensure that it remains appropriate. The Group does not hold or use derivative financial instruments for speculative purposes.

 

Principal Risks and Uncertainties

Principal risks and uncertainties affecting the business activities of the Group are the same as those detailed within the Strategic Report section of the Group's 2015 Annual Report, a copy of which is available on the Group's website at www.sthree.com.

 

As explained in the Outlook section, it is too early to assess the impact of the EU Referendum result. The effect on client and candidate confidence in our UK business will become clearer as we trade through our seasonally more important second half. In terms of wider macroeconomic environment risks, our strategy is to continue to grow the size of our international business and expand to new sectors, both financially and geographically. This will help reduce our exposure or dependence on any one specific economy.

 

In the view of the Board, there is no material change expected to the Group's other key risk factors in the foreseeable future.

 

* Variances in constant currency

  

Directors' Responsibility Statement

The Directors confirm that to the best of their knowledge:                   

                                                                                                               

(a)           the condensed consolidated interim financial information (unaudited) has been prepared in accordance with IAS 34, "Interim Financial Reporting" as adopted by the European Union; and                                                                                

                                                                                                                                                               

(b)           the interim management report includes a fair review of the information required by DTR 4.2.7R (indication of important events that have occurred during the first six months of the financial year and description of principal risks and uncertainties for the remaining six months of the year); and                                                                                        

                                                                                                               

(c)           the interim management report includes a fair review of the information required by DTR 4.2.8R (disclosure of related parties' transactions and changes therein).                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Approved by the Board on 8 July 2016 and signed on its behalf by:                                                                                                    

 

 

 

Gary Elden                                             Alex Smith

Chief Executive Officer                           Chief Financial Officer

 

 

 

SThree plc

 

 

 

 

 

Condensed consolidated income statement - unaudited

for the half year ended 31 May 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 May

 

31 May

 

 

 

2016

 

2015

 

 

 

 

 

 Before exceptional items

 Exceptional items

 Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note

 £'000

 

 £'000

 £'000

 £'000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing operations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

 

2

       443,495

 

       403,589

               -  

       403,589

Cost of sales

 

 

      (323,654)

 

      (293,048)

               -  

      (293,048)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gross profit

 

2

       119,841

 

       110,541

               -  

       110,541

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Administrative expenses

 

 

      (106,837)

 

       (96,392)

               -  

       (96,392)

Gain on disposal of subsidiaries

 

3

               -  

 

               -  

             377

             377

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating profit

 

 

        13,004

 

        14,149

             377

        14,526

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finance income

 

 

               56

 

               40

               -  

               40

Finance costs

 

 

            (255)

 

            (429)

               -  

            (429)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profit before taxation

 

 

        12,805

 

        13,760

             377

        14,137

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taxation

 

4

         (3,458)

 

         (4,541)

              (78)

         (4,619)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profit for the period attributable
to owners of the Company

 

 

          9,347

 

          9,219

             299

          9,518

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings per share

 

6

 pence

 

 pence

 pence

 pence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

              7.3

 

              7.3

              0.2

              7.5

Diluted

 

 

              7.0

 

              6.8

              0.2

              7.0

 

SThree plc

 

 

 

 

 

Condensed consolidated statement of comprehensive income - unaudited

for the half year ended 31 May 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 May

31 May

 

 

 

 

2016

2015

 

 

 

 

 £'000

 £'000

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profit for the period

 

 

 

          9,347

          9,518

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other comprehensive income/(loss):

 

 

 

 

 

Items that may be subsequently reclassified to profit or loss:

 

 

 

 

Exchange differences on retranslation of foreign operations

 

 

 

          2,588

         (2,879)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other comprehensive income/(loss) for the period (net of tax)

 

 

          2,588

         (2,879)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total comprehensive income for the period attributable to owners of the Company

        11,935

          6,639

 

SThree plc

 

 

 

 

 

Condensed consolidated statement of financial position - unaudited

 

 

 

 

 

as at 31 May 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audited

 

 

Note

 

31 May

30 November

 

 

 

 

2016

2015

 

 

 

 

 £'000

 £'000

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASSETS

 

 

 

 

 

Non-current assets

 

 

 

 

 

Property, plant and equipment

 

 

 

          6,098

          5,599

Intangible assets

 

 

 

        11,942

        11,108

Deferred tax assets

 

 

 

          1,796

          1,780

 

 

 

 

        19,836

        18,487

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current assets

 

 

 

 

 

Trade and other receivables

 

 

 

       166,198

       157,153

Current tax assets

 

 

 

             271

          3,292

Cash and cash equivalents

 

 

 

        21,600

          6,159

 

 

 

 

       188,069

       166,604

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

 

 

       207,905

       185,091

 

 

 

 

 

 

EQUITY AND LIABILITIES

 

 

 

 

 

Equity attributable to owners of the Company

 

 

 

 

 

Share capital

 

7

 

          1,297

          1,295

Share premium

 

 

 

        23,640

        23,140

Other reserves

 

 

 

      (11,355)

      (11,030)

Retained earnings

 

 

 

        37,309

        46,001

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total equity

 

 

 

        50,891

        59,406

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-current liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

Provisions for liabilities and charges

 

 

 

          1,085

          1,133

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

Provisions for liabilities and charges

 

 

 

          5,332

          5,579

Trade and other payables

 

 

 

       124,597

       117,039

Current tax liabilities

 

 

 

               -  

          1,934

Borrowings

 

8

 

        26,000

               -  

 

 

 

 

       155,929

       124,552

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total liabilities

 

 

 

       157,014

       125,685

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total equity and liabilities

 

 

 

       207,905

       185,091

 

SThree plc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Condensed consolidated statement of changes in equity - unaudited

 

 

 

for the half year ended 31 May 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Share
capital

 Share
premium

 Capital
redemption
reserve

 Capital
reserve

 Treasury reserve

 Currency
translation
reserve

 Retained
earnings

 Total equity attributable to owners of the Company

 

 

 

 £'000

 £'000

 £'000

 £'000

 £'000

 £'000

 £'000

 £'000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audited balance at 30 November 2014

       1,266

     14,470

          168

          878

         (162)

      (6,564)

     41,290

        51,346

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profit for the half year ended 31 May 2015

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

       9,518

          9,518

Other comprehensive loss for the period

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

      (2,879)

            -  

         (2,879)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total comprehensive income for the period

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

      (2,879)

       9,518

          6,639

Dividends paid to equity holders

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

      (5,903)

         (5,903)

Dividends payable to equity holders

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

    (11,833)

       (11,833)

Settlement of share-based payments

             7

          460

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            75

             542

Credit to equity for equity-settled share-based payments

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

       1,915

          1,915

Current and deferred tax on share-based payment transactions

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            98

               98

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total movements in equity

             7

          460

            -  

            -  

            -  

      (2,879)

      (6,130)

         (8,542)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unaudited balance at 31 May 2015

       1,273

     14,930

          168

          878

         (162)

      (9,443)

     35,160

        42,804

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audited balance at 30 November 2015

       1,295

     23,140

          168

          878

      (1,318)

    (10,758)

     46,001

        59,406

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profit for the half year ended 31 May 2016

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

       9,347

          9,347

Other comprehensive income for the period

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

       2,588

            -  

          2,588

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total comprehensive income for the period

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

       2,588

       9,347

        11,935

Dividends paid to equity holders

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

      (6,044)

         (6,044)

Dividends payable to equity holders

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

    (11,934)

       (11,934)

Issue of new shares for settlement of share-based payments

             2

          500

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

             502

Purchase of own shares

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

      (4,633)

            -  

            -  

         (4,633)

Treasury shares used for settlement of share-based payments

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

       1,720

            -  

      (1,720)

               -  

Credit to equity for equity-settled share-based payments

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

            -  

       1,659

          1,659

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total movements in equity

             2

          500

            -  

            -  

      (2,913)

       2,588

      (8,692)

         (8,515)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unaudited balance at 31 May 2016

       1,297

     23,640

          168

          878

      (4,231)

      (8,170)

     37,309

        50,891

 

 

 

 

 

SThree plc

 

 

 

 

 

Condensed consolidated statement of cash flows - unaudited

for the half year ended 31 May 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 May

31 May

 

 

 

 

2016

2015

 

 

 

 

 £'000

 £'000

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from operating activities

 

 

 

 

 

Profit before taxation after exceptional items

 

 

 

        12,805

        14,137

Adjustment for:

 

 

 

 

 

Depreciation and amortisation charge

 

 

 

          2,568

          2,225

Accelerated amortisation and impairment of intangible assets

 

 

             190

          1,322

Finance income

 

 

 

              (56)

              (40)

Finance cost

 

 

 

             255

             429

Loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment

 

 

 

                3

             101

Gain on disposal of subsidiaries

 

 

 

               -  

            (377)

Non-cash charge for share-based payments

 

 

 

          1,659

          1,915

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating cash flows before changes in working capital and provisions

 

        17,424

        19,712

(Increase)/decrease in receivables

 

 

 

         (1,857)

          5,616

Decrease in payables

 

 

 

       (12,026)

         (6,374)

Decrease in provisions

 

 

 

            (354)

         (2,225)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash generated from operations

 

 

 

          3,187

        16,729

Finance income

 

 

 

               56

               40

Income tax paid

 

 

 

         (2,345)

         (5,342)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net cash generated from operating activities

 

 

 

             898

        11,427

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash generated from operating activities before previously recognised exceptional items

 

          1,487

        13,828

Cash outflow from previously recognised exceptional items

 

            (589)

         (2,401)

Net cash generated from operating activities

 

 

 

             898

        11,427

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from investing activities

 

 

 

 

 

Purchase of property, plant and equipment

 

 

 

         (1,389)

         (1,804)

Purchase of intangible assets

 

 

 

         (2,571)

         (1,906)

Proceeds from disposal of subsidiaries

 

 

 

               -  

          2,002

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net cash used in investing activities

 

 

 

         (3,960)

         (1,708)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from financing activities

 

 

 

 

 

Finance cost

 

 

 

            (255)

            (429)

Employee subscriptions for tracker shares

 

 

 

               90

             115

Proceeds from exercise of share options

 

 

 

             524

             542

Purchase of own shares

 

 

 

         (4,633)

               -  

Increase/(decrease) in borrowings

 

 

 

        26,000

         (3,000)

Dividends paid to equity holders

 

 

 

         (6,044)

         (5,903)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net cash generated from/(used in) financing activities

 

 

 

        15,682

         (8,675)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net increase in cash and cash equivalents

 

 

 

        12,620

          1,044

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of the period

 

 

 

          6,159

        14,071

 

 

 

 

 

 

Effect of foreign exchange rate changes

 

 

 

          2,821

         (3,525)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents at end of the period

 

 

 

        21,600

        11,590

 

SThree plc                                                                                                                                                                                           

Notes to the interim financial information - unaudited                                                                                                              

for the half year ended 31 May 2016                                                               

                       

1.             Accounting Policies                                                                      

 

General Information                                                                                                                      

SThree plc ('the Company') and its subsidiaries (together 'the Group') operate predominantly in the United Kingdom & Ireland, Continental Europe, the USA and Asia Pacific & Middle East. The Group consists of different brands and provides both Permanent and Contract specialist staffing services, primarily in the ICT, Banking & Finance, Energy, Engineering and Life Sciences sectors.

 

The Company is a public limited company listed on the London Stock Exchange and incorporated and domiciled in the United Kingdom and registered in England and Wales. Its registered office is 1st Floor, 75 King William Street, London, EC4N 7BE.

 

The condensed consolidated interim financial information ('interim financial information') of the Group as at and for the half year ended 31 May 2016 comprises that of the Company and all its subsidiaries. The interim financial information is unaudited and has not been reviewed by external auditors. It does not constitute statutory accounts as defined in section 434 of the Companies Act 2006. Statutory accounts for the year ended 30 November 2015 were approved by the Board of Directors on 22 January 2016 and a copy was delivered to the Registrar of Companies. The auditors reported on those accounts, their report was unqualified, did not draw attention to any matters by way of emphasis and did not contain a statement under section 498 (2) or (3) of the Companies Act 2006.

 

The interim financial information of the Group was approved by the Board for issue on 8 July 2016.                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Basis of Preparation                                                                                                                                                          

The interim financial information has been prepared in accordance with the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the Financial Services Authority and with IAS 34, 'Interim Financial Reporting' as adopted by the European Union. The interim financial information is presented on a condensed basis as permitted by IAS 34 and therefore does not include all disclosures that would otherwise be required in a full set of financial statements and should be read in conjunction with the Group's 2015 annual financial statements, which were prepared in accordance with IFRSs as adopted and endorsed by the European Union.

 

Going Concern                                                                                                                                                                    

The Group's business activities, together with the factors likely to affect its future development, performance and position are set out in the accompanying Interim Management Report. The financial position of the Group, its cash flows, liquidity position and borrowing facilities are shown in other sections of this interim financial information.

 

Having considered the Group's resources and available banking facilities, the Directors are satisfied that the Group has sufficient resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. Accordingly, they continue to adopt a going concern basis in preparing this interim financial information.

 

Significant Accounting Policies                                                                                                                                       

The accounting policies adopted are consistent with those applied in the preparation of the Group's 2015 annual financial statements except as described below.

 

Taxes on income in the interim period are accrued using the effective tax rate that would be applicable to the Group's expected total annual earnings.

 

New Standards and Interpretations                                                                                                               

There are no new standards or IFRIC interpretations that were effective during the period that significantly affect this interim financial information.

 

Estimates                                                                                                             

The preparation of the interim financial information requires management to make judgements, estimates and assumptions that affect the application of accounting policies and the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the end of the reporting period, and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. Although these estimates are based on the Directors' best knowledge of the amounts, the actual results may ultimately differ from these estimates.                                                                                                   

In preparing the interim financial information, the significant judgements made by management in applying the Group's accounting policies and the key sources of estimation uncertainty were the same as those that applied in the Group's 2015 annual financial statements, with the exception of changes in estimates that are required in determining the provision for income taxes.

 

Seasonality of Operations                                                                                                

Due to the seasonal nature of the recruitment business, higher revenues and operating profits are usually expected in the second half of the year compared to the first half.  In the financial year ended 30 November 2015, 47% of gross profits were earned in the first half of the year, with 53% earned in the second half.

 

 

2.             Segmental Analysis                                                      

                                                                               

IFRS 8 'Segmental Reporting' requires operating segments to be identified on the basis of internal results about components of the Group that are regularly reviewed by the entity's chief operating decision maker to make strategic decisions and assess segment performance.

 

Management has determined the chief operating decision maker to be the Group Management Board ('GMB') made up of the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer and the Regional CEOs and MDs, with other senior management attending via invitation. Operating segments have been identified based on reports reviewed by the GMB, which consider the business primarily from a geographical perspective. The Group segments the business into four regions: the United Kingdom & Ireland, Continental Europe, the USA and Asia Pacific & Middle East.

 

The Group's management reporting and controlling systems use accounting policies that are the same as those described in note 1 in the summary of significant accounting policies in the Group's 2015 annual financial statements.

 

Revenue and Gross Profit by Reportable Segment                                                                                                                    

The Group measures the performance of its operating segments through a measure of segment profit or loss which is referred to as "Gross Profit" in the management reporting and controlling systems. Gross profit is the measure of segment profit comprising revenue less cost of sales.                                                                           

                                                                               

Intersegment revenue is recorded at values which approximate third party selling prices and is not significant.

 

 

 

              REVENUE

              GROSS PROFIT

 

 

31 May

31 May

31 May

31 May

 

 

2016

2015

2016

2015

 

 

 £'000

 £'000

 £'000

 £'000

 

 

 

 

 

 

United Kingdom & Ireland

       142,915

       145,105

        32,096

        33,463

Continental Europe

       198,919

       162,214

        57,900

        48,418

USA

        77,728

        73,179

        22,132

        19,738

Asia Pacific & Middle East 

        23,933

        23,091

          7,713

          8,922

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       443,495

       403,589

       119,841

       110,541

                                                               

Continental Europe primarily includes Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Switzerland.

 

Asia Pacific & Middle East mainly includes Australia, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

 

Other Information                                                                                                                                           

The Group's revenue from external customers, its gross profit and information about its segment assets (non-current assets excluding deferred tax assets) by key location are detailed below:

               

 

 

               REVENUE

                GROSS PROFIT

 

 

31 May

31 May

31 May

31 May

 

 

2016

2015

2016

2015

 

 

 £'000

 £'000

 £'000

 £'000

 

 

 

 

 

 

UK

 

       135,480

       134,198

        29,413

        30,486

Germany

        89,486

        70,056

        30,258

        23,902

USA

        77,728

        73,128

        22,132

        19,689

Netherlands

        59,203

        48,066

        13,440

        11,417

Other

        81,598

        78,141

        24,598

        25,047

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       443,495

       403,589

       119,841

       110,541

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NON-CURRENT ASSETS

 

 

 

 

 

Audited

 

 

 

 

31 May

30 November

 

 

 

 

2016

2015

 

 

 

 

 £'000

 £'000

 

 

 

 

 

 

UK

 

 

 

        14,072

        13,080

USA

 

 

          2,441

          2,175

Germany

 

 

             535

             509

Netherlands

 

 

             165

             134

Other

 

 

             827

             809

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        18,040

        16,707

                               

 

The following segmental analyses by brand, recruitment classification and discipline (being the profession of candidates placed) have been included as additional disclosures to the requirements of IFRS 8.

           

 

 

REVENUE

GROSS PROFIT

 

 

31 May

31 May

31 May

31 May

 

 

2016

2015

2016

2015

 

 

 £'000

 £'000

 £'000

 £'000

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Progressive

       126,013

       127,390

        30,591

        30,368

Computer Futures

       121,128

       101,024

        34,983

        29,215

Real Staffing Group

       105,713

        92,438

        31,020

        27,747

Huxley Associates

        90,641

        82,737

        23,247

        23,211

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       443,495

       403,589

       119,841

       110,541

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recruitment classification

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contract

       403,423

       363,605

       79,769

        70,557

Permanent

        40,072

        39,984

       40,072

        39,984

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       443,495

       403,589

      119,841

       110,541

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discipline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Information and communication technology

       207,276

       170,113

       54,228

        45,302

Energy

        51,322

        63,666

         9,426

        13,283

Other

       184,897

       169,810

       56,187

        51,956

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       443,495

       403,589

      119,841

       110,541

 

Other includes Banking & Finance, Engineering and Life Sciences.

 

 

3.             Gain on Disposal of Subsidiaries                                                               

                                                                               

During the previous period, the Group recognised an additional gain of £0.4m in relation to the disposal of IT Job Board. This represented the amount of the final earn out received (£2.0m) against the amount estimated as receivable at 2014 year end (£1.6m). This gain was classified as an exceptional item consistent with the previous presentation.

 

                                                                               

4.             Taxation                                                             

 

Income tax for the half year is accrued based on management's best estimate of the average annual effective tax rate for the financial year. The tax charge for the half year amounted to £3.5m (2015: £4.6m) at an effective rate of 27% (2015: 33%).                

 

                                               

5.             Dividends             

 

 

 

 

 

31 May

31 May

 

 

 

 

2016

2015

 

 

 

 

 £'000

 £'000

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amounts recognised as distributions to equity holders in the period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 interim dividend of 4.7p (2014: 4.7p) per share

 

         6,044

          5,903

2015 final dividend of 9.3p (2014: 9.3p) per share

 

 

       11,934

        11,833

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       17,978

        17,736

 

2015 interim dividend of 4.7 pence (2014: 4.7 pence) per share was paid on 11 December 2015.

 

2015 final dividend of 9.3 pence (2014: 9.3 pence) per share was approved by shareholders at the AGM on 21 April 2016 and has been included as a liability in this interim financial information. The dividend was paid on 3 June 2016 to shareholders on record at 29 April 2016.

 

2016 interim dividend of 4.7 pence per share was proposed and approved by the Board on 8 July 2016 and has not been included as a liability as at 31 May 2016. It will be paid on 9 December 2016 to shareholders on record at 4 November 2016.

 

 

6.             Earnings Per Share                                                         

                                                                               

The calculation of the basic and diluted earnings per share ('EPS') is set out below:

 

Basic EPS is calculated by dividing the earnings attributable to owners of the Company by the weighted average number of shares in issue during the period excluding shares held as treasury shares and those held in the EBT which are treated as cancelled.

 

For diluted EPS, the weighted average number of shares in issue is adjusted to assume conversion of dilutive potential shares. Potential dilution resulting from tracker shares takes into account profitability of the underlying tracker businesses and SThree plc's earnings per share. Therefore, the dilutive effect on EPS will vary in future periods depending on any changes in these factors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 May

31 May

 

 

 

 

 

2016

2015

 

 

 

 

 

 £'000

 £'000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings

 

 

 

 

 

Profit after taxation before exceptional items

 

 

          9,347

          9,219

Exceptional items net of tax

 

 

               -  

             299

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profit for the period attributable to owners of the Company

          9,347

          9,518

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 millions

 millions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of shares

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted average number of shares used for basic EPS

 

          128.5

          126.3

Dilutive effect of share plans

 

 

              5.0

              9.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted average number of shares used for diluted EPS

 

          133.5

          135.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 pence

 pence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

 

 

 

Basic EPS after exceptional items

 

 

              7.3

              7.5

Impact of exceptional items

 

 

               -  

             (0.2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic EPS before exceptional items

 

 

              7.3

              7.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diluted

 

 

 

 

 

Diluted EPS after exceptional items

 

 

              7.0

              7.0

Impact of exceptional items

 

 

               -  

             (0.2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diluted EPS before exceptional items

 

 

              7.0

              6.8

 

 

7.             Share Capital

 

During the period 224,906 (H1 2015: 735,098) new ordinary shares were issued, resulting in a share premium of £0.5m (H1 2015: £0.5m). These shares were issued pursuant to the exercise of share awards under the Save As You Earn (SAYE) scheme.

 

Treasury Reserve

During the period, SThree plc purchased 1,465,579 of its own shares to be held as treasury shares (H1 2015: nil). The average price paid per share was 316 pence (H1 2015: nil) and the total consideration was £4.6m (H1 2015: £nil). During the period, 510,081 shares (H1 2015: nil) were transferred from treasury for LTIP awards. At the half year end, 1,329,082 (H1 2015: 55,953) shares with a value of £4.2m were held in treasury.

 

 

8.             Borrowings                                                                       

                                                                                               

The Group has a committed RCF of £50m in place with RBS and HSBC which expires in May 2019. The funds borrowed under the facility bear interest at a minimum annual rate of 1.3% (H1 2015: 1.3%) above 3 month Sterling LIBOR. The average interest rate paid on the RCF during the half year was 1.8% (H1 2015: 1.8%).

 

At the half year end the Group had drawn down £26.0m (H1 2015: £21.0m) on this facility.

 

The facility is subject to certain covenants requiring the Group to maintain financial ratios over interest cover, leverage and guarantor cover. The covenants ratios are disclosed in the Group's 2015 annual financial statements. The Group has been in compliance with these covenants throughout the period.

 

The Group's exposure to interest rate, liquidity, foreign currency and capital management risks is disclosed in the Group's 2015 annual financial statements.

 

                                               

9.             Related Party Disclosures                                                                        

                                                                                               

The Group's significant related parties are as disclosed in the Group's 2015 annual financial statements. There were no material differences in related parties or related party transactions in the period compared to the prior period.

 

                                                               

10.           Contingent Liabilities                                                                   

                                                                                               

The Group has contingent liabilities in respect of legal claims arising in the ordinary course of business. There have been no material changes in these since the 2015 year end and none are expected to result in a material cash outflow for the Group.

 

                                                                                               

11.           Shareholders Communications                                                                

                                                                                               

SThree plc has taken advantage of regulations which provide an exemption from sending copies of its interim report to shareholders. Accordingly, the 2016 interim report will not be sent to shareholders but will be available on the Company's website www.sthree.com or can be inspected at the registered office of the Company.                                                                                          

                                                                                               

                                                                                               

                                                                                               


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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Interim results for the half year ended 31.05.16 - RNS