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Strong Operational Performance in Q4 2018

2019-03-07

Margin improvement in most regions, supported by GrowTogether productivity gains.


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Q4 2018 summary and highlights


■ Revenues up 1% year-on-year organically1, and down 1% trading days adjusted (TDA), driven by slowdown in Europe

■ Continued strong development in permanent placement, revenues up 18% organically

■ Gross margin 19.1%; up 120 bps yoy, including positive temp price/mix impact of +30 bps

■ EBITA2 margin excluding one-offs3 4.8%, up 20 bps yoy; positive underlying development and favorable non-recurring items offset increased New Ventures investments and impact of German integration and regulation

■ Goodwill impairment in Germany (EUR 270 million); non-cash with no impact on pidend policy

■ Revenues in January 2019 declined 2% TDA year-on-year, with volumes in February slightly decelerating


FY 2018 summary and highlights


■ Revenues up 3% yoy organically and TDA, with deceleration in H2, as growth in Europe slowed

■ EBITA margin excluding one-offs 4.5%, down 40 bps yoy; positive impact from GrowTogether partly offsets increased strategic investments, reduction in CICE subsidies and German business transformation

■ Net income attributable to Adecco Group shareholders EUR 458 million, impacted by goodwill impairment

■ Continued strong cash flow; proposed pidend of CHF 2.50 per share, stable year-on-year

■ Strategy and investments on-track: GrowTogether driving improved productivity and Net Promoter Score; New Ventures expand solutions portfolio and create synergies


Alain Dehaze, Group Chief Executive Officer said,


“The Group ended the year with a strong performance, despite an increasingly challenging market backdrop in Europe. While revenues declined by 1% (TDA), we outperformed in a number of key regions, including France, US General Staffing and Italy. Underlying profitability also further improved in Q4 2018, building on the positive trend of the prior quarter. Investments in our ‘Perform, Transform, Innovate’ strategy, which have impacted margins in 2017 and 2018, are

now delivering the first financial results, in addition to laying strong foundations for future profitable growth.


In 2018, we Performed: expanding our market share in France and returning to growth in US General Staffing, in-line with 2017 commitments. Pricing programs also gained traction and we delivered market leading growth in perm. Although Germany impacted the Group performance, we are making changes to strengthen the business.


We also Transformed: the GrowTogether program is scaling up and driving productivity improvements, which supported improved operating margins in most regions in Q4. As we optimize and digitize internal processes, we reduce costs and also increase client and candidate satisfaction, as evidenced by a five-point improvement in NPS in 2018.


And we Innovated: by adding unique businesses to our portfolio of New Ventures, including General Assembly (up-/re-skilling) and Vettery (digital permanent placement). Combined with the strengths of our existing brands, we are creating a 360? service offering to support our customers across the whole HR solutions landscape, online and offline.


As the Group continues its digital transformation, our people remain our greatest asset – it is only through their passion and commitment that we succeed as a team. I therefore want to thank every one of our 34,000 colleagues worldwide for their contribution to making the Adecco Group the global #1 in HR solutions.”

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