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Adecco says revenues continue to fall at start of second quarter

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss Adecco Group is seen at its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland October 30, 2018. Picture taken October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

By John Revill

ZURICH (Reuters) - Adecco Group said its revenues continued to fall at the start of its second quarter, the temporary staffing company said on Tuesday, as the European economy limped into the second quarter and the U.S.-China trade war looked set to escalate.

Adecco said its sales when adjusted for currencies, acquisitions and working days fell by 2 percent in the first quarter, and continued at the same rate in April.

"While revenues declined by 2 percent trading days adjusted, year-on-year, the trend in our European markets stabilised during the quarter," Chief Executive Alain Dehaze said.

"We also delivered accelerating growth in the Japan and Rest of World region, which helped offset the slowdown in North America."

On a reported level, Adecco said its first-quarter revenue fell 1 percent to 5.65 billion euros (4.83 billion pounds) as Germany, and professional staffing in North America and Britain struggled. Net profit rose 2 percent to 133 million euros as the Swiss company increased its profit margin.

Growth prospects for the eurozone economy have weakened, with the latest PMI figures showing lacklustre growth as weakness in the manufacturing sector is also hitting the services industry.

Prospects for a deal to end a trade war between China and the United States are also uncertain after U.S. President Donald Trump's latest threat to increase tariffs on Chinese goods.

(Reporting by John Revill)