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Margin strengthening in Q1
May 7, 2019


EBITA increases year-on-year while continuing to invest in digital innovation

Summary and highlights

  • Revenues declined 2% year-on-year organically1 and trading days adjusted (TDA)
  • Growth trends in Europe stabilising, while North America slowed and Rest of World accelerated
  • Gross margin 19.1%; up 100 bps yoy, supported by improving business mix and positive pricing development
  • EBITA2 margin excluding one-offs3 4.0%, up 20 bps yoy; underlying improvement more than offsetting higher investments in New Ventures
  • Cost leadership strengthened by GrowTogether; FTE productivity improved
  • Strong balance sheet with Net debt/EBITDA at 0.9x; solid cash conversion, DSO stable
  • Revenue growth exit rate in March and April 2019 in-line with Q1

“The Group delivered a strong performance in Q1 2019, improving the EBITA margin by 20 bps even as our digital investments increased. We continue to make good progress with our GrowTogether transformation programme, which underpinned another quarter of robust productivity growth. And a focus on pricing discipline and improving the business mix with higher-value solutions supported further gross margin improvement.

While revenues declined by 2% trading days adjusted, year-on-year, the trend in our European markets stabilised during the quarter and the exit rate for the Group was in-line with Q1. We also delivered accelerating growth in the Japan and Rest of World region, which helped offset the slowdown in North America.

The ‘Perform, Transform, Innovate’ strategy continues to build momentum. We are on track to deliver our target of a further EUR 70 million of productivity savings from GrowTogether in 2019. We are also strengthening our customer value proposition, as evidenced by our improving NPS.

We are only part way through our transformation journey but I am pleased by the progress made so far, and excited about the potential still to be delivered in 2019 and beyond. I would like to thank every one of our worldwide colleagues for their contributions to building a stronger Adecco Group that will help make the future work for everyone.”                

Alain Dehaze, Group Chief Executive Officer

1 Organic growth is a non-US GAAP measure and excludes the impact of currency, acquisitions and divestitures.

2 EBITA is a non-US GAAP measure and refers to operating income before amortisation and impairment of goodwill and intangible assets.

3 In Q1 2019, EBITA included one-offs of EUR 5 million; in Q1 2018, EBITA included one-offs of EUR 19 million.

Note to Editors

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