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Revenue at Adecco, the world’s largest staffing firm, fell 1 percent in the fourth quarter to €4.98 billion (US$6.86 million) but rose 4 percent on a constant currency basis. The Switzerland-based staffing firm reported most European economies have begun to recover and it expects demand for flexible labor to increase in 2014. Adecco also announced an expected €20 million in restructuring costs in 2014 to move its North America operations to a single headquarters along with several smaller projects in other countries.
In North America, Adecco reported revenue fell 2 percent in the fourth quarter to €928.0 million (US$1.28 billion). On a constant currency basis, it rose 3 percent.
North America industrial staffing revenue rose 14 percent in constant currency but office/clerical revenue fell by 6 percent. North America professional staffing revenue rose 2 percent in constant currency. Information technology revenue in North America rose by 5 percent in constant currency; the increase was driven by an 8 percent increase in the IT professional staffing business in the U.S.
Engineering and technical staffing revenue in North America rose by 2 percent in constant currency. However, finance and legal staffing revenue in North America was flat.
Adecco reported particularly strong growth in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, where revenue rose 12 percent in the fourth quarter to €252.0 million (US$346.9 million). Fourth-quarter revenue in its largest single market, France, was flat at €1.20 billion (US$1.66 billion).
Fourth-quarter revenue fell 22 percent in Australia and New Zealand on a constant currency basis to €89 million (US$122.5 million), and fourth-quarter revenue fell 3 percent on a constant currency basis in Japan to €270.0 million (US$371.7 million).
Adecco’s fourth-quarter gross margin improved to 18.3 percent from 17.8 percent in the year-ago quarter.
Fourth-quarter net income rose to €174.0 million (US$239.5 million) from €35.0 million in the fourth quarter of the previous year.
Full-year 2013 revenue fell 5 percent to €19.50 billion (US$26.85 billion). The decline was 2 percent in constant currency.
Adecco’s full-year gross margin improved to 18.3 percent from 17.9 percent in the previous year. Net income rose 48 percent to €558.0 million (US$768.1 million).
Shares in Adecco closed up 4.52 percent in European trading to 78.60 Swiss Francs. It had a market cap of 14.51 billion Swiss Francs (US$16.51 billion), according to Google.