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Spain – Adecco unable to escape economic woes

11 March 2013

Ahead of Adecco’s much anticipated fourth-quarter earnings results on Wednesday, the regional head of the company’s Iberia and South America operations said the recruiter had been unable to escape the economic crisis as activities in the recruitment market have fallen over the past few years.

Enrique Sánchez said in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais that Adecco, the world’s largest staffing firm, is dodging the crisis with “much difficultly.”

Unemployment in Spain currently stands above 26%, more than double the EU average. He said that Adecco’s temporary staffing business in Spain had seen a sharp reduction in activity in recent years.  “Adecco cannot escape the economic crisis, because our business is closely related to the economic cycle. In late 2007, we operated with 500 offices and a workforce of 2,300 employees and today we have 350 offices with 1,400 employees. The company has suffered a lot,” he said.

He blamed this on weak market conditions across the region. Adecco’s latest financial report for the third quarter shows that revenue in Iberia fell by -12% to €166 million with total group revenue dropping by -5%.

“Europe is in decline. Spain, Portugal and Italy are the countries that are most affected. But we have very high growth in emerging markets: Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe. The primary objectives of the group remains to diversify through acquisitions of companies,” said Mr Sanchez.

He said that businesses in Spain had seen a tough year in 2012. Mr Sanchez does not expect the country to create jobs in 2013 as gross domestic product is expected to decline further. Job growth may return in the second half of 2014 if Europe gets to grips with its economic troubles, he said.

Enrique Sanchez joined Adecco Spain in 1993 as branch manager. In 2005, he became responsible for Adecco’s Spanish and Portuguese operations and was appointed regional head of Iberia & South America in October 2009.

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