Randstad says profit almost doubled

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Dutch temporary job agency Randstad posted on Thursday an almost doubled net profit for the first quarter of 2011, saying that the impact of the earthquake in Japan in March was limited.

Its net income amounted to an 82-percent increase to 39.7 million euros ($58.9 million) from 21.8 million euros a year ago, notably driven by an increase of 22 percent in sales amounting to 3.7 billion euros.

In Germany and France, the company's organic growth increased by 29 percent and 22 percent respectively, while in the United States, organic growth was up by 19 percent.

"We saw continued strong growth in many markets like Germany, France and North America during the quarter," said Ben Noteboom, Randstad's chief executive officer.

"With continuing economic improvement, we look (forward) to the coming quarters with confidence," he added.

"The financial impact of the earthquake in Japan was limited for the Group," the company added, saying several offices near the quake's epicenter and Fukushima were temporarily closed but all were quickly reopened.

"The earthquake caused an immediate slowdown in volumes which started to recover gradually after a few weeks," it said.

Randstad said it expected the consequences of the Japan quake could impact its EBITA (company earnings before deductions including interest and tax) "up to five million euros" in the second quarter.

© 2011 AFP

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