Adecco sees 2015 net profit evaporate amid asset value downgrade
The world's biggest temporary staffing group Adecco on Wednesday said its 2015 net profit shrank 99 percent as it wrote down the values of acquired assets, despite boosting growth in its main market, France.
Last year, Adecco raked in 8.0 million euros ($8.8 million) in net profit, down from 638 million euros a year earlier.
The steep drop was linked to a so-called goodwill impairment -- a write-down of intangible assets linked to acquisitions in Germany in 2006 and 2007 -- of 740 million euros, recognised in the third quarter, the company said.
The company meanwhile saw its group revenues swell 10 percent to 22 billion euros last year, largely boosted by the positive impact of currency fluctuations.
Not counting shifting exchange rates, the company's revenues grew just four percent in 2015.
In the fourth quarter, Adecco's organic growth accelerated to five percent at constant exchange rates, helped by improvements in its largest market, France, which saw revenues climb five percent.
Its vital industrial activities in the country, which account for 85 percent of its revenues there, swelled six percent during the quarter, it said.
The Swiss company also announced that it had concluded an agreement to make a cash-offer for British recruiting firm Penna Consulting, offering it 365 pence per share.
That amounts to a total bid of about 105 million pounds ($149 million, 135 million euros) for the company that posted revenues of 84.4 million pounds in its last annual accounts completed at the end of March 2015.
Adecco said the deal should be completed during the second quarter.
The company's board is meanwhile proposing to dish out a dividend of 2.40 Swiss francs ($2.40, 2.19 euros) per share for 2015.
Company chief Alain Dehaze said the "proposal for a 14-percent increase in dividend per share reflects the group's continued good cash flow and strong balance sheet."
He pointed out that Adecco achieved four-percent organic revenue growth in 2015, and that this had continued during the first two months of this year.
Following the announcement, Adecco saw its share price slip 1.47 percent to 60.20 Swiss francs a piece in mid-morning trading, as the Swiss stock exchange's main SMI index remained flat.
© 2016 AFP