ADECCO, the world’s biggest staffing company, beat profit forecasts yesterday as uncertain job markets drove the demand for temporary staff, but margins at the company were squeezed by a poor performance in its professional division.
Revenue at Adecco rose by 11 per cent to €5.2bn (£4.56bn), while net income jumped 45 per cent to €141m, beating the €122m forecast.
The company’s gross margin fell 90 basis points to 16.9 per cent, which the group said was driven by its business mix.
The firm’s biggest market, France – which delivers 31 per cent of revenues – grew by 15 per cent, with demand for both industrial staff and permanent placements remaining strong throughout the quarter.
“We had again very solid double-digit revenue growth this quarter, still driven by strong demand in the industrial segment,” said chief executive Patrick De Maeseneire.
“With the current economic uncertainties, we keep a close lid on our cost base, and will only invest where prospects are promising,” he added.
Revenues in the UK and Ireland were flat at €406m, while Italy saw the greatest rise, with revenues up 35 per cent. Germany and Australia collectively saw revenues jump 31 per cent.
The company also took an €11m hit from the bond refinancing it completed in April this year.
Adecco’s update spooked some investors hoping for a more positive outlook, and its shares tumbled 10.7 per cent to close at CHF34.50 yesterday.