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Netherlands - Randstad reconfirms strategy

02 December 2011

Randstad Holding (RAND:AEX) is currently hosting its analyst & investor conference at its headquarters in the Netherlands. In a statement accompanying the meeting, the company said "we continue to strive for a 5%-6% EBITA margin through the cycle, which we consider achievable in normal market circumstances with continued growth."

"The structural growth drivers in our industry remained in place. Clients are increasingly focused on becoming more efficient and having access to knowhow and the best candidates. Demographic trends, for example, the growing mismatch between supply and demand for labour, require higher mobility and participation in the labour market. Other opportunities will emerge from the implementation of appropriate regulation in all our markets. As a global HR service provider we are well-positioned to benefit from all these trends and we remain focused on:

• Field steering to ensure adaptability and drive productivity.
• Gaining market share across segments in existing countries.
• Leveraging our unique in-house concept.
• Reinforcing our specialty approach and focusing on the SME segment.
• Accelerating growth in professionals and focusing on permanent placements.
• By further improving our business mix, while maintaining flexibility in our cost base and our solid financial position, we are well-positioned to realise our strategic targets.”

Current trading

"The trends that were discussed in our Q3 press release have continued into Q4 2011. In October, revenue per working day increased by +19%, or +5% on an organic basis. In November, we see a similar trend where our growth rate gradually slows."

"North America continued to lead the way and grew by +11% per working day. Both US Professionals and Canada maintained their solid performance and grew by +18%. Our US Staffing & In-house business grew by +5%, somewhat better than in September. The performance of SFN Group remained strong and the integration remains on track."

"In Europe the gradual slowdown, as witnessed in the third quarter, continued. France and Germany did relatively well, while in Southern Europe the slowdown was more pronounced."

"We anticipate our underlying costs in Q4, adjusted for the consolidation of SFN, to be in line with the level of Q3 2011. In addition, and in line with our previous outlook, we will further streamline our cost base in those countries where growth and profitability have developed below expectations. We anticipate that, we will incur non-recurring costs up to 20 million Euro in the coming months. We aim at realizing the related savings within the first year."

In early trading Randstad's shares were up by +3.25% to 23.53 Euro.

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