(Alliance News) - Staffing firm SThree PLC on Monday said its third quarter continued to be hit by Covid-19 though it has seen a "significant uptick in general sales activity".
SThree's net fees fell 14% year-on-year to GBP75.7 million in the period to August 31.
The Europe, Middle East & Africa region, excluding Germany, Austria and Switzerland, saw a 22% net fees decline. The company's Germany, Austria and Switzerland operations had a 9% decline.
In Asia Pacific, net fees fell by a third and in the US, they slipped 3%.
SThree - which is focused on the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics sector - explained it has been assessing which "regions represent the best STEM markets" and can allow it to grow in market share. The company said it will close its Australian operations by the end of November.
"Group net fees in quarter three declined 14% in the year as performance continues to be impacted by declines in aggregate demand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic across all of our territories and sectors," SThree said.
Promisingly, the company hailed its "balance sheet strength" which has allowed it to return staff from furlough and pay back a GBP50 million revolving credit facility.
Chief Executive Mark Dorman said: "Whilst the year-on-year decline in net fees was marginally greater in quarter three than quarter two, there has been an improving underlying sequential performance in the business since the half year. We have seen a significant uptick in general sales activity levels across most regions, improving contractor retention levels and thus a stabilisation of the contractor order book."
SThree shares were 2.8% higher at 253.50 pence each in London on Monday morning.
By Eric Cunha; firstname.lastname@example.org
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