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Robust start to 2021
May 4, 2021


Further strengthening of margin through delivery of strategy

Summary and highlights

  • Revenues up 2% year-on-year organically1 and trading days adjusted (TDA)
  • Gross margin 20.1%, up 80 bps yoy, driven by improving mix and pricing discipline
  • EBITA2 margin excluding one-offs3 4.2%, up 120 bps yoy, with positive gross margin performance further supported by productivity improvement
  • Strong financial position and cash flow development: Net Debt/EBITDA4 excluding one-offs 0.3x, Free Cash Flow5 at EUR 89 million. Share buyback commenced in April
  • Revenues in March 2021 up 9% organically and TDA, with volumes in April indicating gradual sequential recovery


“The Group had a robust start to 2021, showing continued resilience and sector-leading profitability. Despite the ongoing challenges from Covid-19, we returned to modest revenue growth, and several businesses are now back above 2019 levels. Positive mix development, pricing and cost discipline drove broad-based margin improvement. With our diversified portfolio of services we support our clients and candidates with the solutions they need to adapt to the future of work. As an essential service provider, we have an important role to play in helping society successfully exit from the current crisis, supporting a recovery in employment and a safe return to work for all.”


Since launching our Future@Work strategy at the end of last year, we have made good progress. We successfully transitioned to a new organisation structure built around three Global Business Units – Adecco, Talent Solutions and Modis – and several key strategic initiatives are well underway.


We are encouraged to see continued recovery, though we are mindful of uncertainties related to Covid-19 and the economic environment. Our unparalleled service range, operational agility and strong financial position provide a platform for generating long-term value for all our stakeholders, and delivering on our ambitious financial targets over the medium term. While the economic recovery may remain uneven, we will continue to implement our strategy with one clear objective: to make the future work for everyone.”

Alain Dehaze, Chief Executive Officer