Adecco achieves solid profitability in 2012
Strong operating cash flow and a proposed stable dividend of CHF 1.80
Full-year 2012 HIGHLIGHTS
*Revenues of EUR 20.5 billion, flat year-on-year (-4% organically1)
*Strong gross margin increase to 17.9%, up 50 bps year-on-year (+30 bps
*SG&A down 1% year-on-year, organically and excluding EUR 88 million
restructuring and integration costs2
*EBITA3 at EUR 813 million excluding restructuring and integration costs
*Resilient EBITA margin, despite revenue decline, at 4.0%, down 10 bps
compared to last year, excluding restructuring and integration costs
*Net income attributable to Adecco shareholders of EUR 377 million
*Strong operating cash flow of EUR 579 million, up 10% (EUR 524 million in
*Proposed 2012 dividend of CHF 1.80 per share, equal to the dividend paid
*Enhanced dividend policy to commit at least to a stable dividend versus
the prior year, even if the pay-out range of 40-50% is temporarily
*Mid-term EBITA margin target of above 5.5% achievable in 2015
Fourth quarter 2012 HIGHLIGHTS
*Revenues of EUR 5.0 billion, down 3% year-on-year (-6% organically)
*Gross margin at 17.8%, down 10 bps year-on-year
*SG&A down 3% year-on-year, organically and excluding restructuring and
integration costs (-1% sequentially)
*EBITA at EUR 194 million, excluding EUR 46 million restructuring costs
*EBITA margin at 3.9%, down 50 bps year-on-year, excluding restructuring
and integration costs
Key figures for 2012
Q4 2012 FY 2012 Q4 2012
in EUR millions FY 2012
reported reported constant constant
currency growth currency growth
Revenues 20,536 5,027 -3% -5%
Gross profit 3,674 894 -1% -6%
EBITA before restructuring 813 194 -6% -17%
and integration costs
EBITA 725 148 -14% -33%
Operating income 673 136
Net income attributable to 377 35
Zurich, Switzerland, March 13, 2013: Adecco Group, the world's leading
provider of Human Resources solutions, today announced results for the full
year and Q4 2012. Revenues in 2012 were EUR 20.5 billion, a decrease of 4% on
an organic basis. The gross margin strongly improved to 17.9%, up 50 bps
year-on-year or up 30 bps organically. Tight cost control in 2012 resulted in
a 1% decrease of SG&A, organically and excluding restructuring and integration
costs. The Group maintained resilient profitability and achieved an EBITA
margin before restructuring and integration costs of 4.0% in 2012, only 10 bps
lower than in 2011. Operating cash flow of EUR 579 million was 10% higher than
in 2011. In recognition of Adecco's strong balance sheet, the Board has
proposed a dividend per share of CHF 1.80 for 2012, equal to the dividend paid
per share for 2011. Management believes that the mid-term EBITA margin target
of above 5.5% is achievable in 2015.
Patrick De Maeseneire, CEO of the Adecco Group said: "In 2012 we faced diverse
trends among the regions in which we operate. Most of Europe was challenging
and we faced double-digit revenue declines in France, Italy and Iberia.
Exceptions were the UK & Ireland, where revenues grew 6% in constant currency
and we continued to gain market share in Germany & Austria where revenues
increased 1% organically. We achieved solid results in North America, where
organic revenue growth picked up throughout the year. Also the Emerging
Markets continued to grow in double-digits. Our gross margin improved strongly
in 2012 as we maintained strict price discipline and profited from a better
business and country mix. This, together with our continued focus on cost
control, enabled us to protect profitability and achieve an EBITA margin,
before restructuring and integration costs, of 4.0%, only 10 bps lower than in
2011. Our operating cash flow was up 10% in 2012 and we have a very healthy
balance sheet. The proposed stable dividend for 2012 reflects our strong
financial position, our ability to generate strong operating cash flow and the
focus on organic growth. As a result, going forward the Group is committed to
pay at least a stable dividend versus the prior year. We continue to be very
focused on reaching our mid-term EBITA margin target of above 5.5%. Based on
the good progress on our six strategic priorities and more favourable economic
conditions expected towards the end of 2013, we are convinced we will achieve
this target in 2015."
FY 2012 FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE
Group revenues for 2012 were EUR 20.5 billion, flat or down 3% in constant
currency compared to the prior year. Organically revenues were down 4% in
2012. Permanent placement revenues amounted to EUR 343 million, a decrease of
5% in constant currency and organically. Revenues from the counter-cyclical
Career Transition (outplacement) business totalled EUR 269 million, an
increase of 25% in constant currency or 1% organically.
In 2012, gross profit was EUR 3.7 billion, an increase of 3% compared to 2011.
Organically, gross profit decreased by 3%. The gross margin was 17.9%, 50 bps
higher than in 2011. On an organic basis, the gross margin was 30 bps higher
in 2012 compared to 2011.
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses (SG&A)
SG&A increased by 7% compared to 2011 or by 1% organically. SG&A in 2012
included restructuring costs of EUR 83 million associated with combining the
business of the Adecco and Adia brands in France under the single Adecco
brand, including headcount and branch optimisation; headcount reductions in
Japan and various other European countries; and data centre consolidation in
North America. Integration costs for DBM amounted to EUR 5 million in 2012.
Integration costs for MPS and DBM amounted to EUR 20 million in 2011.
Organically and excluding restructuring and integration costs, SG&A decreased
by 1%. Compared to 2011, on an organic basis, FTE employees were down 2% and
branches also declined by 2%. At year end 2012, the Adecco Group had around
32,000 FTE employees worldwide and a network of around 5,400 branches.
In 2012, EBITA decreased by 11% to EUR 725 million. The 2012 EBITA margin was
3.5% compared to 4.0% in 2011. EBITA excluding restructuring and integration
costs was EUR 813 million in 2012, and the margin was 4.0%, down 10 bps when
compared to the EBITA margin excluding integration costs in 2011.
Amortisation of Intangible Assets
Amortisation was EUR 52 million in 2012, compared to EUR 51 million in 2011.
Operating income in 2012 was EUR 673 million, compared to EUR 763 million in
Interest Expense and Other Income / (Expenses), net
Interest expense increased by EUR 5 million to EUR 76 million in 2012, mainly
due to higher levels of outstanding debt. Other income / (expenses), net was
an expense of EUR 13 million in 2012, compared to a net expense of EUR 6
million in 2011. The 2012 expense includes the loss of EUR 15 million on the
sale of a business in North America at the end of June 2012. The 2011 expense
included the EUR 11 million loss, recognised in connection with the exchange
and tender offers for outstanding notes completed in April 2011. Interest
expense is expected to be around EUR 75 million for the full year 2013.
Provision for Income Taxes
The effective tax rate for 2012 was 35% compared to 24% in 2011. In 2012,
discrete events including the valuation allowance on the French deferred tax
assets had a negative impact of approximately 4% on the tax rate. The tax rate
for 2011 was positively impacted by approximately 7% as a result of the
reduction in withholding tax payable upon the distribution of dividends due to
the ratification of the Swiss-Japanese tax treaty and other discrete events.
Net Income attributable to Adecco shareholders and EPS
In 2012, net income attributable to Adecco shareholders was EUR 377 million
(2011: EUR 519 million). Basic EPS was EUR 2.00 in 2012 (EUR 2.72 in 2011).
Cash-flow, Net Debt4 and DSO
Operating cash flow amounted to EUR 579 million in 2012. The Group invested
EUR 87 million for VSN and EUR 88 million in capex in 2012. Dividends paid
were EUR 256 million in 2012. Net debt at the end of December 2012 was EUR 972
million compared to EUR 892 million at year end 2011. In 2012, DSO was 54 days
compared with 55 days in 2011.
In 2012, currency fluctuations had a positive impact on revenues of
Q4 2012 FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE
Group revenues in Q4 2012 were EUR 5.0 billion, down 3% or down 5% in constant
currency. Organically, revenues were down 6%. Permanent placement revenues
amounted to EUR 77 million, a decrease of 10% in constant currency, while
revenues from the counter-cyclical Career Transition (outplacement) business
totalled EUR 68 million, up 3% in constant currency.
In Q4 2012, gross profit amounted to EUR 894 million and the gross margin was
17.8%, down 10 bps compared to Q4 2011. Organically, the gross margin was also
down 10 bps. Temporary staffing organically had a 30 bps negative impact on
the gross margin, partly due to how the bank holidays fell on working days.
This in particular impacted temporary staffing margins in Germany and Sweden,
where temporary employees are on Adecco's payroll. On an organic basis,
permanent placements had a neutral impact on the gross margin, whereas the
impact was +10 bps from the outplacement business and +10 bps from other
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses (SG&A)
SG&A in Q4 2012 amounted to EUR 746 million, an increase of 5% or 2% in
constant currency compared to Q4 2011. SG&A was 3% lower year-on-year on an
organic basis and excluding restructuring and integration costs. Restructuring
costs were EUR 46 million in the quarter under review, of which EUR 33 million
related to France and EUR 9 million for other European countries.
Restructuring costs incurred for the consolidation of several data centres in
North America amounted to EUR 4 million in Q4 2012. Costs related to the
integration of DBM totalled EUR 12 million in Q4 2011. Sequentially, SG&A was
down 1% (FTE employees -2%) on an organic basis and when excluding
restructuring costs. Organically, FTE employees decreased by 5% (-1,600) and
the branch network decreased by 2% (-100 branches) compared with the fourth
quarter of 2011.
In the period under review, EBITA excluding restructuring costs was EUR 194
million and the margin was 3.9%, down 50 bps compared to the EBITA margin,
excluding integration costs, of 4.4% in Q4 2011. EBITA was EUR 148 million
compared with EUR 217 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. The Q4 2012 EBITA
margin was 2.9% compared to 4.2% in Q4 2011.
Amortisation of Intangible Assets
Amortisation in Q4 2012 was EUR 12 million, compared to EUR 11 million in Q4
In Q4 2012, operating income was EUR 136 million. This compares to EUR 206
million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Interest Expense and Other Income / (Expenses), net
The interest expense amounted to EUR 20 million in the period under review,
unchanged when compared with Q4 2011. Other income / (expenses), net was an
expense of EUR 1 million in Q4 2012, compared to income of EUR 3 million in
the fourth quarter of 2011.
Net Income / Net Income attributable to Adecco shareholders and EPS
In the period under review, net income attributable to Adecco shareholders was
EUR 35 million. This compares to EUR 133 million in Q4 2011. Basic EPS in Q4
2012 was EUR 0.19 (Q4 2011: EUR 0.71).
In Q4 2012, currency fluctuations had a positive impact on revenues of
Revenues in France amounted to EUR 1.2 billion, down 17% compared to Q4 2011.
Permanent placement revenues were down 29%. In the quarter under review, EBITA
was at break-even. Excluding EUR 33 million restructuring costs incurred in Q4
2012, the EBITA margin was at 2.7%, compared to 4.3% a year ago. The
combination of the business of the Adecco and Adia brands under the single
brand of Adecco is nearly complete.
As of year end 2012, more than 500 FTE employees had left the Company and the
number of branches was around 10% lower year-on-year. In recent weeks, since
the restructuring is close to completion and the new organisation is in place,
commercial activity has picked up.
In North America, Adecco's business continued to develop well. Revenues
increased 8% organically to EUR 947 million in Q4 2012. General Staffing
revenues increased 7% in constant currency and Professional Staffing revenues
grew by 8% organically. The North American IT Professional Staffing segment
business grew 12% year-on-year organically in Q4 2012, driven by strong growth
in the US of 16% organically. Revenue development was also ahead of the market
in Finance & Legal and Engineering & Technical, both up 4% year-on-year, in
constant currency. The Medical & Science business was again up strongly, by
21% in constant currency. Permanent placement revenues continued to develop
well, up 12% organically. EBITA was EUR 37 million in the quarter under
review. Excluding EUR 4 million restructuring costs incurred for the
consolidation of several data centres in North America, the EBITA margin was
at 4.3% in Q4 2012 compared to 5.2% a year ago.
In the UK & Ireland, revenues were down 1% in constant currency to EUR 490
million. Permanent placement revenues were down 25% in constant currency.
EBITA was EUR 14 million in Q4 2012 and the EBITA margin was 2.9% compared to
an EBITA margin of 1.2% in Q4 2011.
In Germany & Austria, Q4 2012 revenue development continued to be ahead of the
market. Revenues declined by 4% organically to EUR 387 million, compared
against the high base of last year (Q4 2011: +14% year-on-year revenue
growth). EBITA amounted to EUR 12 million in Q4 2012. Restructuring costs to
optimise the cost base amounted to EUR 5 million in the quarter under review.
Excluding these costs, the Q4 2012 EBITA margin was at 4.3% compared to an
EBITA margin of 5.6% in Q4 2011. Results were impacted by how bank holidays
fell on working days and lower utilisation.
In Japan, revenues were down 5% in constant currency to EUR 361 million.
Organically revenues were down 15% still impacted by the completion of several
outsourcing projects earlier in the year. Profitability remained strong. EBITA
was at EUR 20 million and the EBITA margin was 5.5%, down 10 bps compared to
the fourth quarter of 2011. VSN added 50 bps to the EBITA margin in Japan in
Revenues in Italy declined 8% in Q4 2012. EBITA amounted to EUR 12 million and
the EBITA margin was 5.2% compared to 4.0% in Q4 2011. Restructuring costs to
optimise the cost base amounted to EUR 3 million in the quarter under review.
Excluding these costs, the Q4 2012 EBITA margin was 6.5%.
In Q4 2012, revenues in Benelux decreased by 6%. Revenue development was below
the market in the Netherlands, but ahead of the market in Belgium. The region
achieved solid profitability with an EBITA margin of 5.5% in Q4 2012, up 110
Revenues in the Nordics were up 3% in constant currency. Revenues in Sweden
were down single-digit year-on-year in Q4 2012, but revenues solidly increased
in Norway, both in constant currency. The EBITA margin in Q4 2012 was 3.3%.
In Iberia revenues declined by 10% as economic conditions in the region
remained challenging. Revenues in Australia & New Zealand were down 6% in
constant currency. In Switzerland revenues declined by 7% in constant currency
in Q4 2012, while profitability remained high with an EBITA margin of 9.7%.
The Emerging Markets grew 4% in constant currency to EUR 475 million, mainly
driven by Latin America. The EBITA margin was 3.9%, down 40 bps when compared
to the same period last year.
Revenues of Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH), Adecco's Career Transition and Talent
Development business were EUR 77 million, up 1% in constant currency compared
to Q4 2011. EBITA was EUR 21 million and profitability remained strong, as the
EBITA margin reached 28.4%.
BUSINESS LINE PERFORMANCE
Adecco's revenues in the General Staffing business (Office & Industrial)
decreased by 7% in constant currency to EUR 3.8 billion. Revenues in the
Industrial business were down 9% in constant currency. In France, revenues
declined by 18% in Q4 2012 and in Italy by 9%. Germany & Austria was down 6%
organically year-on-year. In constant currency, revenues in Industrial in
North America grew 8% in Q4 2012. In the Office business, revenues were down
4% in constant currency (-3% organically). Whereas revenues in Japan were down
17%, year-on-year revenue growth in North America accelerated to 6% in Q4 12,
revenues in the Nordics were up 1% and in the UK & Ireland up 7%, all in
Professional Staffing5 revenues were flat in constant currency (-1%
organically). Year-on-year revenue growth in North America accelerated to 8%
organically in Q4 12. In the UK & Ireland, revenues were down 5% in constant
currency. Revenues in France were down 12%.
In Information Technology (IT), revenues were down 5% in constant currency
(-3% organically). In North America, revenues grew by 12% organically, driven
by the US IT Professional Staffing business, which grew by 16% organically.
Revenues in the UK & Ireland declined by 7% in constant currency.
Adecco's Engineering & Technical (E&T) business was up 10% in constant
currency (4% organically). In Germany & Austria revenues grew by 6%, while in
France revenues grew by 9%. In North America revenues grew 4%, while in the UK
& Ireland revenues were up 18%, both in constant currency.
In Finance & Legal (F&L), revenues were flat in constant currency. Revenues in
North America increased 4%, while revenues in the UK & Ireland declined by 5%
in Q4 2012, all in constant currency.
In Q4 2012, revenues in Medical & Science (M&S) were down 2% in constant
currency (-4% organically). While revenues in North America were up 21%,
revenues in the Nordics declined by 10%, both in constant currency. Revenues
in France were down 30% in the quarter under review.
In the fourth quarter of 2012, revenues in Solutions6 were up 4% in constant
currency. Revenue growth in MSP (Managed Service Programmes) and VMS (Vendor
Management System) continued to be strongly double-digit in constant currency.
Year-on-year revenue growth slowed during Q4 2012, but stabilised into the new
year. In the first two months of Q1 2013, Adecco Group's revenues were down 5%
compared to the prior year, on an organic basis and adjusted for trading days.
Within Europe, France remained challenging while the revenue decline in
Germany & Austria adjusted for trading days stabilised, despite the comparison
against a strong first quarter in 2012. In North America, revenue growth
remained healthy and the same held true for Emerging Markets. Japan remained
Given the current environment, we continue to focus on price discipline and
the tight alignment of the cost base to revenue developments. Consequently, in
2013 we plan to invest EUR 30 million to further optimise the cost base.
Approximately one third of the investments are related to the on-going
consolidation of the data centres in North America. The remainder will be
invested in further aligning the cost base to revenue developments in France
and other countries. SG&A in Q1 2013 is expected to decrease at a similar rate
year-on-year as in the fourth quarter of 2012, on an organic basis and when
excluding restructuring and integration costs.
Thanks to Adecco's strong balance sheet and cash flow generation, an enhanced
dividend policy has been introduced. In addition to the pay-out range of 40%
to 50% of adjusted net earnings, the Company is committed to pay at least a
stable dividend compared to the previous year even if the pay-out range is
temporarily exceeded, barring seriously adverse economic conditions.
The Adecco Group is solidly positioned for the future. In an environment of
economic uncertainty we will continue to build on our strengths - our leading
global position and the diversity of our service offerings. We will continue
to take advantage of growth opportunities, with a strong focus on disciplined
pricing and cost control to optimise profitability and value creation. We
continue to be very focused on reaching our mid-term EBITA margin target of
above 5.5%. Based on the good progress on our six strategic priorities and
more favourable economic conditions expected towards the end of 2013, we are
convinced we will achieve this target in 2015.
Update on the share buyback programme
In June 2012, the Company launched a share buyback programme of up to EUR 400
million on a second trading line with the aim of subsequently cancelling the
shares and reducing the share capital. The share buyback commenced in mid-July
2012. As of December 31, 2012 the Company had acquired 3.8 million shares
under this programme for EUR 145 million.
PROPOSALS TO SHAREHOLDERS
At the Annual General Meeting, the Board of Directors will propose a dividend
of CHF 1.80 per share for 2012, for approval by shareholders. This represents
a pay-out ratio of 49% of adjusted net earnings, in line with the pay-out
range of 40-50% of adjusted net earnings. The total amount of the dividend
distribution for 2012 is intended to be paid out of the capital contribution
reserve, and is therefore expected to be exempt from Swiss withholding tax.
The dividend pay-out to shareholders is planned on May 2, 2013.
For further information please contact:
Adecco Corporate Investor Relations
Investor.firstname.lastname@example.org or +41 (0) 44 878 89 89
Adecco Corporate Press Office
Press.email@example.com or +41 (0) 44 878 87 87
Q4/FY 2012 Results Conference Calls
There will be a media conference call at 9 am CET as well as an analyst
conference call at 11 am CET, details of which can be found in the Investor
Relations section on our website.
UK / Global + 44 (0)203 059 58 62
United States + 1 866 291 41 66
Cont. Europe + 41 (0)91 610 56 00
Financial Agenda 2013
April 18, 2013
*Annual General Meeting April 26, 2013
*Dividend payment date May 2, 2013
*Q1 2013 results
*Q2/1H 2013 results May 7, 2013
*Q3 2013 results
August 8, 2013
November 6, 2013
Information in this release may involve guidance, expectations, beliefs,
plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future. These forward-looking
statements involve risks and uncertainties. All forward-looking statements
included in this release are based on information available to Adecco S.A. as
of the date of this release, and we assume no duty to update any such
forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this release are
not guarantees of future performance and actual results could differ
materially from our current expectations. Numerous factors could cause or
contribute to such differences. Factors that could affect the Company's
forward-looking statements include, among other things: global GDP trends and
the demand for temporary work; changes in regulation of temporary work;
intense competition in the markets in which the Company operates; integration
of acquired companies; changes in the Company's ability to attract and retain
qualified internal and external personnel or clients; the potential impact of
disruptions related to IT; any adverse developments in existing commercial
relationships, disputes or legal and tax proceedings.
About the Adecco Group
The Adecco Group, based in Zurich, Switzerland, is the world's leading
provider of HR solutions. With around 32,000 FTE employees and around 5,400
branches, in over 60 countries and territories around the world, Adecco Group
offers a wide variety of services, connecting close to 700,000 associates with
over 100,000 clients every day. The services offered fall into the broad
categories of temporary staffing, permanent placement, career transition and
talent development, as well as outsourcing and consulting. The Adecco Group is
a Fortune Global 500 company.
Adecco S.A. is registered in Switzerland (ISIN: CH0012138605) and listed on
the SIX Swiss Exchange (ADEN).
1 Organic growth is a non US GAAP measure and excludes the impact of currency,
acquisitions and divestitures.
In 2012, restructuring and integration costs were EUR 88 million (Q4 2012
2 EUR 46 million) and in 2011 integration costs were EUR 20 million (Q4 2011
EUR 12 million).
3 EBITA is a non US GAAP measure and refers to operating income before
amortisation of intangible assets.
4 Net debt is a non US GAAP measure and comprises short-term and long-term
debt less cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments.
5 Professional Staffing refers to Adecco's Information Technology, Engineering
& Technical, Finance & Legal, and Medical & Science businesses.
Solutions include revenues from Human Capital Solutions, Managed Service
6 Programmes (MSP), Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and Vendor
Management System (VMS).
Press Release (PDF)
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