- Specialist recruitment company SThree upgraded its annual guidance after its its first-half profit more than doubled, thanks to better market conditions and elevated contractor working hours.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through May increased to £27.7 million, up from £13.6 million year-on-year.

Revenue rose 3% to £615.1 million and net fees rose 10% to £164.3 million.

SThree, which caters to the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors, declared an interim dividend of 3p per share, having declared no payout year-on-year.

The company said it also had experienced high demand for STEM skills, while elevated contractor workings hours had improved productivity.

Chief executive Mark Dorman said momentum built across the first half haf continued into current trading, with strong KPIs on new placement activity and contractor retention rates.

'Consequently, we now anticipate we will be ahead of current market consensus expectations for the 2021 financial year,' he said.

'As previously communicated, we remain mindful of changing contractor behaviour and annual leave backlogs in the second half.'

'We will be increasing investment in our people and our 'go-to-market' proposition in the coming months, which, although crucial in driving our long-term success, will impact on productivity in the short term.'

'Nevertheless, we continue to be focused on the execution of our strategy, whatever the external circumstances, and remain fully committed to the ongoing delivery of the long-term ambitions for all of our stakeholders.'

Story provided by