Solid 2017 results; continuing to perform while making key investments

Q4 2017 summary and highlights

  • Revenue growth accelerated to 7% organically1 and trading days adjusted

  • Strong development in permanent placement revenue growth, up 18% organically

  • Gross margin down 70 bps organically yoy, impacted by unfavourable timing of bank holidays (-20 bps) and the impact of accruals (-20 bps); underlying trend in pricing and mix unchanged

  • EBITA2 margin excluding one-offs 4.6%; down 50 bps yoy, due to gross margin decline

  • Costs well managed; FTEs up 3% and SG&A excluding one-offs3 up 5% organically, including strategic investments

  • Revenues in January and February 2018 up 5%, organically and trading days adjusted

FY 2017 summary and highlights

  • Revenues up 6% organically, driven by strong growth in France, Italy, Iberia, and Benelux & Nordics

  • EBITA margin excluding one-offs 4.9%; continuing to perform, while making key investments for the future

  • Net income attributable to Adecco Group shareholders EUR 788 million, up 9% yoy

  • Proposed dividend of CHF 2.50 per share (up 4% yoy), EUR 150 million share buyback announced today

  • GrowTogether launched, to drive growth and strengthen profitability, by transforming the core of the business

  • Significant progress in advancing digital agenda, repositioning the Adecco Group as a leader in digital HR solutions



“The Adecco Group had another solid year in 2017, with a good financial performance and significant progress made in our strategic agenda to Perform, Transform and Innovate. Organic revenue growth improved, accelerating to 7% in Q4. We maintained our focus on cost and price discipline. And we made significant investments in the new IT infrastructure and digital solutions that underpin our strategy and financial commitments. We also returned almost EUR 650 million to our shareholders, reiterating our commitment to disciplined capital allocation and leading total shareholder returns.

At our 2017 Capital Markets Day, we described how our industry is evolving, shaped by megatrends, and outlined how we will capitalize on these trends. Demand for our core services will continue to grow. At the same time, digitization, big data and analytics create opportunities to develop new business models, improve customer experience and access new client segments. Underpinned by these trends, the Group is committed to accelerating its structural organic revenue growth, achieving sustained EBITA margin improvement and continuing to deliver strong free cash flow.

The transformation of the Group, through GrowTogether, began in earnest during 2017. New integrated front office tools began to be rolled out, improving speed and quality of service, and boosting productivity. Client and candidate portals are also being introduced, taking delivery ‘beyond-the-branch’, to increase engagement and drive differentiation.


We are also innovating with digital ventures that add new revenue streams in attractive adjacent markets. In 2017, we launched Adia and YOSS, both innovative digital solutions, co-created with leaders in technology. And in early 2018, we announced the acquisition of Vettery, a digital professional recruitment platform, expanding our portfolio of digital services and adding valuable talent and technology to the Adecco Group. Vettery will provide a platform to grow our share of the EUR 25bn professional permanent recruitment market, which currently comprises c.1% of revenues.


The progress achieved in 2017 is a result of the passion, commitment and loyalty of our 34,000 colleagues. I sincerely thank them for their achievement and I look forward to another year of progress in 2018.”               


Alain Dehaze, Group Chief Executive Officer