Strong margin and cash flow performance

Summary and highlights


  • Revenues down 29% year-on-year on a reported basis, and down 28% organically1 and trading days adjusted (TDA), impacted by widespread lockdown measures implemented in response to COVID-19
  • Revenue trend improved as the quarter progressed, with June declining 26% organically and TDA year-on-year and July showing further gradual improvement
  • Resilient gross margin performance, down 20 bps yoy to 18.8%, and down 10 bps organically; supported by strength and balance of portfolio, performance by LHH (career transition) and firm pricing discipline
  • Agile cost management led to positive EBITA2 margin excluding one-offs3 of 1.8%, despite sharp revenue decline
  • Strong cash flow and balance sheet with cash conversion of 145% and net debt/EBITDA excluding one-offs at 0.6x
  • Continued investment and progress in the Group’s strategic priorities – GrowTogether, IT and the Ventures

“The public health and economic crisis linked to COVID-19 intensified during Q2, creating an extremely challenging market environment. The Adecco Group responded swiftly and proactively to secure the wellbeing and safety of our colleagues and associates, and to support our clients.


In the face of these unique challenges our businesses demonstrated resilience, performing ahead of the market in a number of key countries including France, Italy, Spain and Japan. Throughout the first half the Group remained solidly profitable with strong gross margin performance despite the steep revenue declines. This is evidence of the disciplined cost management of our teams and the balanced portfolio we have built in recent years. Cash flow during the quarter was also strong.


While mitigating the short-term impacts of the crisis we maintained a firm focus on our strategy to Perform, Transform and Innovate. The recent implementation of our integrated front office system (InFO) was an enabler of the growth in Japan and we continued the InFO roll out in Spain and France during Q2. We also digitised our PERFORM methodology to adapt to remote working.


We see early signs of improvement as lockdowns ease, and we have supported almost 100,000 associates back to work since the April trough. Nevertheless, the recovery is likely to be gradual and potentially volatile, as much uncertainty persists.


Finally and most importantly, I would like to sincerely thank our valued customers for their trust in us throughout this historic crisis, and express my gratitude to our employees and associates for their unwavering commitment and tireless ongoing work in remarkably challenging circumstances.”


Alain Dehaze, Group Chief Executive Officer