Due to the prevailing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 health crisis, the SThree Board did not propose to pay the 2020 interim dividend (2019: 5.1 pence).
With underlying sequential improvements noted across the Group in the second half, and in the light of the Group's continued, robust financial position, the final dividend has been proposed at 5.0 pence and will be subject to shareholder approval at the 2021 Annual General Meeting. Despite the improved financial performance of the Group, the Board remains cognisant of the heightened volatility facing the Group and will continue to keep the capital allocation policy under review.
Other financial highlights include:
Group net fees for the full year declined 8% YoY, demonstrating resilience against COVID-19's impact and the continued recovery of the underlying business in H2.
Full year adjusted profit before tax of £30.1 million (2019: £59.1 million).
Significant sequential improvement of underlying Group performance in the second half.
Contractor order book stabilised
Sales activity and contractor retention rates increased quarter-on-quarter from Q3
Productivity per head up 4% in H2 YoY
Continued market share gains in the USA, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK despite disruption, in line with 2024 strategic ambitions.
Contract net fees demonstrating resilience, down 7%. Contract represents 76% of Group net fees (2019: 74%) in line with strategic focus.
Permanent net fees also showing resilience, down 13%.
Customer net promoter score improved by eight points to 52, demonstrating the improving quality of our service.
89% of Group net fees generated outside the UK (2019: 87%).
Very strong balance sheet, with net cash of £49.9 million at the year-end (2019: £10.6 million).
Alex Smith, CFO, will be stepping down from his position during 2021 once a suitable successor has been identified.