SThree, a London-listed recruitment company, has announced a higher pretax profit for the year, surpassing market expectations, despite facing a challenging environment.

Financial Performance

For the year ended November 30, the company's pretax profit reached £77.9 million ($99 million), compared to £77.0 million in the same period last year. Despite this increase, the group's net fees fell 4% on a like-for-like basis to £418.8 million due to the difficult market conditions.

Revenue and Dividends

SThree's revenue saw a slight increase from £1.64 billion to £1.66 billion. Contract net fees, which represent 82% of the group's net fee, experienced a 1% growth driven by strong contract extensions. However, permanent net fees dropped by 22%, reflecting market challenges and the company's strategic transition towards a contract model in specific markets.

The company's board has proposed a final dividend of 11.6 pence per share, compared to 11.0 pence in the previous year. This brings the full-year dividend to 16.6 pence per share, showing a 4% increase from the previous year.

Future Outlook

Despite the ongoing challenging macro environment, CEO Timo Lehne emphasized that the company remains focused on investing in and positioning itself for future growth. The strategic direction of the business is unchanged as SThree continues to navigate these market conditions.

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