Randstad changes dividend policy after revenues plunge

 
City A.M. Reporter
RANDSTAD, the Dutch staffing company, yesterday warned of a continued fall in revenue and said it would change its dividend policy in 2013 to cope with the ups and downs of different regions and higher earnings volatility.

For the whole firm, revenue per working day fell six per cent in October organically compared with last year, but sales were stable in North America and nine per cent lower in Europe, Randstad said in a statement yesterday.

“The Netherlands and Belgium declined at a similar level as in September whereas the decline in France (minus 14 per cent) and Germany (minus 9 per cent) was more pronounced,” said Randstad, the world’s second-largest staffing firm.

Adecco, the world’s biggest staffing group, said two weeks ago it did not expect improvement in Europe’s job markets until late next year because businesses are reluctant to hire due to uncertainty about the Eurozone debt crisis.

Randstad said it would change its dividend policy as of 2013, switching to a pay-out ratio of 40 to 50 per cent of adjusted earnings per share, and a choice between stock and cash dividend. It will also plan anti-dilution measures, including share buy-backs, when the company’s financial position allows it, it said.