Adecco improves gross margin despite weakening markets

FY 2008 HIGHLIGHTS (2008 versus 2007)

  • Revenues of EUR 20.0 billion, down 5% (-5% organically
  • Gross margin improvement of 30 bps to 18.1% on an underlying2 basis
  • EBITA margin down 20 bps to 4.2% on an underlying basis
  • Strong operating cash flow of EUR 1,054 million on par with last year
  • Proposed dividend of CHF 1.50 per share, equal to the dividend paid for 2007

Q4 HIGHLIGHTS (Q4 2008 versus Q4 2007)

  • Revenues of EUR 4.6 billion, down 14% (-15% organically)
  • Solid gross margin compared to the prior year at 18.2%
  • Adjusted EBITA margin at 3.6%, down 120 bps
  • Operating income impacted by EUR 116 million impairment charges on goodwill and intangible assets

Key figures
in EUR millions
FY 2008
Q4 2008
FY 2008
organic growth
Q4 2008
organic growth
Gross profit
Operating income
Net income

Zurich, Switzerland, March 4, 2008: Adecco Group, the worldwide leader in Human Resource services, today announced results for the full year and the fourth quarter of 2008. Revenues were down 5% organically to EUR 20.0 billion compared to EUR 21.1 billion in 2007. The company remained price disciplined and reported a 30 bps higher underlying gross margin of 18.1%, while the underlying EBITA margin was down 20 bps to 4.2% compared to 2007.

Dieter Scheiff, CEO of the Adecco Group said: “The industry was confronted with an exceptionally challenging business environment, particularly during the fourth quarter. Nevertheless, we have remained price disciplined and raised the gross margin on an underlying basis by 30 bps to 18.1% in 2008. We have also acted quickly to reduce our cost base, and accelerated headcount reductions throughout the year. These actions together resulted in a good underlying EBITA margin of 4.2%, only down 20 bps compared to the prior year. Operating cash flow remains strong at over EUR 1 billion on par with last year.”