Swiss group Adecco posts profit rise

The world's biggest temporary staffing group Adecco said on Tuesday its first-quarter net profit rose 12 percent to €112 million ($146 million).

The results, which were in line with analysts’ expectations, also showed that operating profit rose by seven percent to €168 million while sales went up two percent to €5 billion in the first three months of the year, Swiss group Adecco said in a statement.

“We are off to a good start in 2012,” said chief executive Patrick De Maeseneire.

“First quarter 2012 revenues are nearly at the same level as in the first quarter of 2011, a solid result when considering the economic headwinds we face in Europe.”

In North America revenue grew one percent over the period but in France, the group’s biggest market, it dropped 10 percent.

Across Europe, revenue fell nine percent in Spain and Portugal and also Switzerland.

Sales meanwhile rose nine percent in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and grew 10 percent in Germany and Austria.

The group said it expects similar results for the second quarter, “with North America holding up, but Europe remaining challenging,” said De Maeseneire.


It’s official! Switzerland is the most expensive country in the world

While anyone living in Switzerland might not have needed the reminder, a new study shows the cost of living in Switzerland is the highest of anywhere in the world.

It's official! Switzerland is the most expensive country in the world

Switzerland topped the list well ahead of Norway in second place, with Iceland, Japan and Denmark rounding out the top five. 

The rankings, put together by CEO World magazine, took into account rent, groceries, purchasing power, restaurants and the cost of living in 132 countries across the globe. 

European countries featured prominently in the top 20, while countries in Asia and the Caribbean were also prominent. 

Switzerland top of the list

Not only did Switzerland top the overall list, but it also ranked highly in several individual metrics, making the cost of living there officially the highest in the world. 

READ: Everything you need to know about the cost of living in Switzerland

Groceries in Switzerland are also more expensive than anywhere in the world, ranking a full 30 points higher than second-placed South Korea. 

But if you’re looking to avoid the grocery shop, eating out in Switzerland is also more expensive than anywhere else in the world. 

The only bright light in the rankings is Switzerland’s national purchasing power – which is also top of the list – perhaps explaining why the Swiss love to travel or even just shop abroad. 

This is of course more beneficial elsewhere, with the benefits of the country’s excellent purchasing power somewhat eroded by high prices at home. 

Photo: CEO World

In fact, the only metric Switzerland doesn’t top is rental costs. That’s not to say renting in Switzerland is cheap, but it trails Hong Kong, Singapore and Luxembourg on the international rent index. 

READ MORE: Eight things you need to know before renting in Switzerland 

Least expensive countries

Among the least expensive countries, central Asian nations rank highly. Pakistan is officially the least expensive, followed by Afghanistan, India and Syria. 

The least expensive European country on the list is Kosovo (124th) followed closely by Georgia (123rd). Romania is the least expensive European country on the list, in 99th place. 

Top ten most expensive countries as per CEO World magazine

1. Switzerland

2. Norway

3. Iceland

4. Japan

5. Denmark

6. Bahamas

7. Luxembourg

8. Israel

9. Singapore

10. South Korea