September 13, 2019 / 7:03 AM / 6 days ago

UPDATE 1-SThree quarterly net fees rises on overseas growth, contract hiring

(Adds details on hiring, regional performance, industry context)

Sept 13 (Reuters) - British recruiting firm SThree Plc reported a 4% rise in net fees for the third quarter on Friday as robust overseas growth, mainly from temporary hirings, more than offset weakness at home.

SThree, like other recruiters, has been increasingly depending on international markets as the job market at home remains cool due to low unemployment and Brexit uncertainties.

Net fees rose to 87.8 million pounds ($108.44 million) for the three months ended Aug.31 from 82.7 million pounds a year earlier, led by a 5% growth in Continental Europe, its biggest market.

Recruiters have become important barometers of the UK economy as companies and workers await more clarity on the time and form of the divorce deal with the European Union.

Sthree, which hires for financial, energy, banking and pharmaceutical firms, said net fees from contract hiring rose 7% in the third quarter, while that from permanent hiring fell 5%.

“Our deliberate focus on contract (hiring) ... continues to be a strong contributor to group performance and remains a key strategic priority,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Dorman said.

Contract hiring accounted for 75% of overall net fees in the reported quarter.

Jefferies analysts said the third-quarter growth was slightly below the brokerage’s forecast. However, the company backed its full-year guidance.

The number of workers hired for permanent jobs via recruitment agencies in Britain fell at the fastest pace in more than three years in August as the Brexit crisis deepened, a survey showed last week.

Many economists have attributed the strength of the labour market, at least in part, to employers hiring workers that they can later lay off rather than making longer-term commitments to investment.

$1 = 0.8097 pounds Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; editing by Arun Koyyur

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