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.