Swiss temp agency Adecco sees ‘challenging’ Q3 as growth slows

Swiss temp agency Adecco sees 'challenging' Q3 as growth slows
France was a bright spot for the firm in quarter 3, Adecco said. File photo: AFP
Slowing demand for casual workers in Europe crimped revenue growth at the world's biggest temporary staffing agency Adecco, the Swiss firm said on Tuesday.

But net profits more than doubled in the three months through September, compared with a year earlier, to €270 million ($310 million), bolstered by the sale of its remaining stake in management services provider Beeline. 

The company, which saw revenues climb 2 percent on a year earlier to €5.9 billion, said outperformance in its largest market France had partly helped cushion the effects of softer demand elsewhere in Europe in the quarter.    

“As we communicated during our September investor seminar, trading in (the third quarter) was challenging, with growth slowing in a number of European markets. Against this backdrop, overall the Group delivered a solid performance,” said the firm's chief executive Alain Dehaze.

The performance of temporary employment agencies can show trends in demand in other sectors as they seek additional staff to meet orders.

Revenues in France grew 5 percent to 1.5 billion, slowing from 8 percent in the previous quarter, with the firm saying manufacturing and automotive demand helped drive its performance in the quarter.

Combined revenues for the German and Austrian markets fell 6 percent in the quarter, with a constriction in the automotive sector, regulation changes and consolidation in its operations, the firm said. 

Net profits were supported by the one off sale of Adecco's remaining 43 percent ownership interest in Beeline, which completed in August and netted €113 million. 

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