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The Dutch recruitment market has seen a continuous slowdown with industry figures showing a steady decline in staffing revenues. Vebego, one of the 10 largest recruiters in the Netherlands, has now reported more difficult trading conditions.
In an interview with the Dutch daily FD, CEO Ronald Goedmakers said that the recession had impacted business activities and margins have come under pressure. The recruiter, which employs around 50,000 staff, reported that managed turnover in 2012 dropped by -4% to €1,088 million although not all of this is derived from the recruitment business.
Mr Goedmakers said the company expects to make annual savings of €2.5 million, following a change in management structures. The family business operates in the Netherlands, France, UK, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium where recruitment activities have largely dropped in the past year as clients remain costs conscious.
But the structural change is anticipated to improve the company’s financial performance after earnings after profits dropped last year. In 2012, EBIT was down by -2.2% to €28.3 million. Vebego is not a sole staffing business and the firm cautioned that its recruitment activities had been sluggish.
“The margins in the [recruitment] sector are under enormous pressure,” said Board member Steph Feijen. “Our staffing companies are too small to compete with the market leaders.” The turnover of the group’s staffing subsidiaries amounted to around €200 million last year. But the company is still expecting to remain profitable in 2013.