Adecco Group saw a gross profit of €916m (£738m) in Q1 2012, up 5% at constant currency on the previous year, and left analysts surprised at a major increase in gross profit margin.
The firm also saw €5,035m revenues, and an operating income of €168m.
Chris Burger, an analyst at broker Helvea, tells Recruiter
: “For me it’s only one thing that is very surprising, which was the gross profit margin. We expected 17.6%; in fact it was 18.2%, the highest gross in, I think, 12 quarters.”
He adds that a number of factors caused this; the acquisitions made by the firm being one, another major cause being “the business mix… that professional staffing grew faster than general staffing”.
Matthijs van Leijenhorst, an analyst at brokerage Kepler Capital Markets, also notes the increase in gross margin in the temporary market, telling Recruiter
that while it decreased at Manpower and Randstad, “Adecco was able to up it”. Like Burger, he put this down to the business mix, adding “strict cost discipline” as a factor.
Revenues in Adecco’s biggest market, France, which made up 25% of the group, were down 10% year-on-year, to €1,268m, although EBITA (earnings before interest, tax and amortisation), was up 2.1% to €27m. Other geographies
- North America saw revenues grow by 1% organically, and a 4.4% organic increase in EBITA
- UK & Ireland: 9% revenue growth, 2.4% EBITA growth
- Germany & Austria: 10% revenue growth, 7.5% EBITA growth
- Japan: 2% revenue growth, 5.8% EBITA growth
- Italy: -2% revenue growth, 5.4% EBITA growth
- Benelux: -2% revenue growth, 3.3% EBITA growth
- Nordics: -2% revenue growth, 2,1% EBITA growth
- Iberia: -9% revenue growth, 2.4% EBITA growth
- Australia & New Zealand: 3% revenue growth, 3.6% EBITA growth
- Switzerland: -9% revenue growth, 7.3% EBITA growth
- Emerging Markets: 15% revenue growth, 2.7% EBITA growth
Patrick De Maeseneire, chief executive of the Adecco Group, said: “We are off to a good start in 2012. Q1 2012 revenues are nearly at the same level as in Q1 2011, a solid result when considering the economic headwinds we face in Europe.
“Our aim is clear: continued price discipline and tight cost control, while maintaining our focus on profitable organic growth opportunities. This keeps us well on track to reach our EBITA margin target of over 5.5% mid-term.”