Adecco reports 29% drop in quarterly profit, warns of US market difficulties

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Staffing company Adecco SA on Tuesday reported a 29 %drop in fourth-quarter net profit and warned of continued market difficulties in the United States.

4 March 2008

ZURICH - Staffing company Adecco SA on Tuesday reported a 29 %drop in fourth-quarter net profit and warned of continued market difficulties in the United States.

The world's largest temporary employment firm said net profit for the three months ended December fell to 150 million euro, from 212 million in the same quarter of 2006, when results were boosted by a divestment gain and a tax benefit.

The result still exceeded analyst expectations of about 140 million. Shares rose 0.2% to CHF53.95 in Zurich.

"We continue to see solid growth rates in the European and Asian staffing markets, while demand patterns in the US remain weak," said Chief Executive Dieter Scheiff.

He said the company expected below-market growth rates in France and Britain.

Revenue in the fourth quarter improved 2% to 5.38 billion euro, from 5.28 billion a year earlier. While sales in the US and France, its two key markets, continued to drop, revenue in Germany jumped sharply due to recent takeovers.

For the full year, Adecco's net income jumped 20% to 35 million. Revenues rose 3% to 21.1 billion.

[Copyright ap 2008]

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