March 15, 2019 / 7:30 AM / in 4 months

SThree profit rises as international growth offsets Britain weakness

(Reuters) - Recruiter SThree Plc posted a 9 percent rise in first-quarter gross profit on Friday, as strong hiring in international markets offset weakness in Britain.

Results of companies such as SThree are closely watched for insight into the job market and overall macroeconomic environment.

The company, which hires employees for financial, energy, banking and pharmaceutical companies, said gross profit for the UK and Ireland fell 7 percent to 11.7 million pounds for the first quarter ended Feb. 28.

SThree had already warned that it was seeing slower growth in the British job market, due to uncertainty surrounding the country’s exit from the European Union.

In contrast, profit from its European business rose 12 percent, while its U.S. market posted a 17 percent jump in the quarter.

“Growth in Continental Europe continuing to exceed our expectations, underlying gross profit growth of 9 (pct) in 1Q19 was marginally better than we had hoped,” Investec analysts said in a note.

Overall group gross profit in the first quarter rose to 78.1 million pounds from 70.3 million pounds earlier.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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