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Netherlands — USG People confirm market recovery

03 March 2010
 

USG People NV (USG:AEX), the 4th largest staffing company in Europe, today announces results for the full year and the fourth quarter of 2009.

Full year revenues fell by -25% from 4.025 billion Euro in 2008 to 3 billion Euro in 2009. Gross profit fell by -31% from 985 million Euro in 2008 to 677 million Euro in 2009. Notwithstanding mix effects, the gross margin remained virtually stable compared to the prevous quarter. Operating expenses were reduced by -21% from 731 million Euro in 2008 to 581 million Euro in 2009. EBITDA was down by -62% from 254 million Euro in 2008 to 96 million Euro in 2009. EBITA was down by -70% from 226 million Euro in 2008 to 68 million Euro in 2009.

During 2009, the total number of employees declined by -19% and the number of branches reduced by -14%.
Q4 revenues were down by -22% from 951 million Euro in Q4 2008 to 746 million Euro in Q4 2009. Gross profit was down by -29% from 233 million euro in Q4 2008 to 165 million Euro in 2009. Operating expenses were reduced by -26% from 183 million Euro in Q4 2008 to 136 million Euro in Q4 2009. EBITDA fell by -42% from 49 million Euro in Q4 2008 to 29 million Euro in Q4 2009. EBITA fell by -49% from 43 million Euro in Q4 2008 to 22 million Euro in Q4 2009.

Herman van Campenhout, the newly appointed CEO with effect from today, said "the current trend reinforces our confidence in further recovery of the markets and in our way forward. The decline in revenue decreased once again in the first weeks of the year. 2009 was a challenging year for the staffing industry and saw a lot of reorganisation taking place. USG People responded decisively to the difficult market circumstances and effectively reduced the cost level with savings and rationalisations."

"The organisation was restructured and the strategy was further tightened up in 2009. We will further optimise our commercial organisation in 2010 and 2011. The merging of a number of brands in the Netherlands was already announced with the publication of the third quarter results. Following on this, we will continue to merge brands, thus creating a more efficient organisation with greater profit potential and flexibility."

This next stage of brand rationalisation affects the Spanish and German markets where Unique will become the dominant brand at the expense of Start People and Allgeier DL. The company also ceased trading activities in Portugal, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

In The Netherlands revenues were down by -27% from 428 million Euro in Q4 2008 to 313 million Euro in Q4 2009. This is slightly behind the overall market trend. EBITA was down by -62% from 28.5 million Euro in Q4 2008 to 10.8 million Euro in Q4 2009. The Energy, legal and reintegration sectors were cited as performing best while financial and permanent recruitment were worst.

In Belgium and Luxembourg revenues were down by -17% from 199 million Euro in Q4 2008 to 165 million Euro in Q4 2009. EBITA was down by -10% from 14.7 million Euro in Q4 2008 to 13.2 million Euro in Q4 2009.

In France revenues were down by -7% from 118 million Euro in Q4 2008 to 109 million Euro in Q4 2009. EBITA was down by -11% from 2.8 million Euro in Q4 2008 to 2.5 million Euro in Q4 2009.

In Spain and Portugal revenues were down by -26% from 66 million Euro in Q4 2008 to 49 million Euro in Q4 2009. EBITA was up by +70% from -10.5 million Euro in Q4 2008 to -3.1 million Euro in Q4 2009.

In Germany revenues were down by -27% from 76 million Euro in Q4 2008 to 55 million Euro in Q4 2009. EBITA was up by +62% from -2.6 million Euro in Q4 2008 to -1 million Euro in Q4 2009.

In Italy revenues were down by -18% from 36 million Euro in Q4 2008 to 30 million Euro in Q4 2009. EBITA was down by -164% from 1.1 million Euro in Q4 2008 to -0.7 million Euro in Q4 2009.

In other countries revenues were down by -15% from 28 million Euro in Q4 2008 to 24 million Euro in Q4 2009. EBITA was down by -184% from -1.9 million Euro in Q4 2008 to -5.4 million Euro in Q4 2009.

Looking at more recent trading, the Group says further, "the trends we see in our activities are developing favourably. We also saw this continue in the first weeks of 2010. After an extremely rapid decline at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009, the decrease in revenue stabilised in the middle of the year and started to pick up slightly in early cyclical sectors in the second half of the year."

"We saw the sectors that respond later in the cycle stabilise during this period. These signs reinforce our confidence in a continuation of the recovery in our markets."

In early trading USG People's shares were down by -1.8% to 12.52 Euro.

 

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