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First-quarter net income rose 3% at Adecco SA, the world's largest staffing firm. Worldwide revenue was up 1%, although first-quarter revenue at the company's U.S. and Canadian segment fell.
Switzerland-based Adecco reported first-quarter net income of euro137.0 million (US$216.5 million), up from euro133.0 million in the same period last year.
Revenue in the first quarter rose 1% to euro5.03 billion (US$7.95 billion) from euro4.99 billion in the first quarter of 2007. Gross margin improved to 18.1% from 17.8%.
U.S. and Canadian revenue fell 14% to euro703.0 million (US$1.11 billion), down from euro819 million in the first quarter of last year. However, on a constant currency basis, revenue fell only 4%.
Adecco said the U.S. and Canadian decline was most significant in its industrial business, where revenue fell 12% in constant currency. The company said revenue was flat in its U.S. and Canadian information technology segment, and rose 4% in constant currency in its engineering and technical business.
"For 2008 we expect modest revenue growth for the group," CEO Dieter Scheiff said. "While growth rates in the European and the Japanese markets are decelerating, they are still on a solid path. Demand in the U.S. remains weak, whereas the emerging markets continue to grow strongly."
For the first quarter ended March 31, 2008, compared with the same period in 2007.
Revenue: euro5.03 billion (US$7.95 billion), +1%
Net income: euro137.0 million (US$216.5 million), +3%