SThree soars on strong growth

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SThree, the IT recruitment consultant, said interim figures could have been better than the double-digit earnings growth it reported if there had been enough UK graduates to fill its positions. Shares in the group rose more than 10 per cent as it defied expectations of a slowdown.

Revenue for the six months to June 1 rose 22.9 per cent to £295.4m while pre-tax profits rose 13.8 per cent to £21.8m. Basic earnings per share rose 16.1 per cent to 10.8p. The group raised its interim dividend 29 per cent to 4p.

Russell Clements, chief executive, said the group had seen a slowdown in recruitment in the banking finance sector but it had been offset by “an extremely robust performance” from its international business.

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