Annual Report 2012

Review of Group results

Key figures at a glance

Download xls sheet

in EUR millions

2012

2011

variance

 

 

 

 

Revenues

20,536

20,545

0%

Gross profit

3,674

3,566

3%

Gross margin

17.9%

17.4%

 

SG&A

(2,949)

(2,752)

7%

EBITA

725

814

-11%

EBITA margin

3.5%

4.0%

 

Net income attributable to Adecco shareholders

377

519

-27%

Basic EPS

2.00

2.72

 

Diluted EPS

2.00

2.72

 

Operating cash flow

579

524

10%

Dividend per share in CHF

1.80 [2]

1.80

0%


IN 2012 WE FACED DIVERSE ECONOMIC TRENDS ACROSS THE REGIONS WHERE WE OPERATE. IN GROWING MARKETS WE FOCUSED ON IMPROVING PROFITABILITY, IN CONTRACTING ONES WE WORKED ON PRESERVING IT.

Highlights for the Adecco Group  In 2012 we faced diverse economic trends across our major markets. Whereas our North American business improved as the year progressed, continued economic uncertainty related to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe led most markets in the region to contract.

France, accounting for 25% of total revenues, declined by 14% while revenues in North America, representing 18% of our total revenues, grew 3% organically. Revenues in UK & Ireland grew by 6% in constant currency. Germany & Austria grew 1% organically. We outperformed the market in Germany and gained market share, as better business conditions than in most other European countries also helped. In Japan, revenues declined by 10% organically. The Emerging Markets continued to expand solidly, growing 10% in constant currency.

From a business line perspective, development was typical for a slowing economic environment, with growth more resilient in Professional than in General Staffing. In 2012, revenues stemming from Professional Staffing and Solutions represented 25% of Group revenues compared to 22% in 2011. Organically, Professional Staffing grew 1% while General Staffing was down 6%. In our Solutions business, counter-cyclical Career Transition services reported an organic revenue increase of 1%, while in MSP and VMS strong double-digit growth was achieved.

2010 and 2011 had been marked by strong revenue growth, primarily driven by the lower margin General Staffing business. During 2012, organic Group revenue growth fell back into negative territory, given the tough conditions in Europe. On the other hand, our gross margin improved a solid 50 bps to 17.9% or was up 30 bps organically. The main reasons for the uplift were the improving business and country mix as well as our continued strict approach to pricing. Given weakening revenue trends, 2012 was about preserving the EBITA margin. We practiced tight cost control and aligned the cost base more radically where necessary. One major action was undertaken in France, where in early March 2012 we announced the combination of the Adecco and Adia branded businesses under the single Adecco brand. The aim was to further strengthen the Group’s position in France and to ensure sustainable profitability. Market developments during 2012 proved that this was absolutely the right step to take.

In 2012 we successfully completed the integration of DBM, which we acquired in August 2011, into Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH). Combining Adecco’s Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) business with DBM created the world’s leading Career Transition and Talent Development services provider. Initially targeted synergies of EUR 20 million were clearly exceeded and fully realised by the end of 2012. We also acquired and integrated VSN Inc., a leading provider of Professional Staffing services in Japan, which has been included in our results since January 2012.

Main financial highlights 2012:

  • Revenues flat at EUR 20.5 billion (down 4% organically [1])
  • Gross margin at 17.9%, up by 50 bps (+30 bps organically)
  • SG&A up by 7% (down by 1% on an organic basis and before restructuring and integration costs which amounted to EUR 88 million in 2012 and EUR 20 million in 2011)
  • EBITA of EUR 725 million, declined by 11% (down 9% organically and before restructuring and integration costs)
  • EBITA margin of 3.5%, down 50 bps (4.0% and down 10 bps before restructuring and integration costs)
  • Net income attributable to Adecco shareholders of EUR 377 million, down 27%
  • Strong operating cash flow of EUR 579 million, up 10%
  • Proposed dividend of CHF 1.80 [2] per share, equal to the dividend paid for the year 2011

Other highlights:

  • In January 2012, we successfully completed the acquisition of the Japanese staffing company VSN Inc. which doubled the contribution of Professional Staffing to the company’s revenues in Japan.
  • In February 2012, Adecco S.A. placed a 4-year CHF 350 million bond with a coupon of 2.125%. The notes were issued within the framework of the Euro Medium-Term Note Programme and are traded on the SIX Swiss Stock Exchange. The proceeds are used for general corporate purposes.
  • In June 2012, we announced the launch of 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 share capital. The share buyback commenced in mid-July 2012. As of December 31, 2012, the Company had acquired 3.8 million shares for EUR 145 million under this programme.
  • In July 2012, Adecco S.A. placed a 5-year CHF 250 million bond with a coupon of 1.875% and an 8-year CHF 125 million bond with a coupon of 2.625%. In October 2012, with a reopening, we placed an additional CHF 100 million of the 5-year bond, bringing the total issued under the financial instrument to CHF 350 million. The proceeds are used to fund the share buyback.
  • In November 2012, the settlement of the 3-year CHF 900 million mandatory convertible bonds led to the delivery of a total of 19,131,064 of Adecco S.A.’s treasury shares.

 

[1]Organic growth is a non-U.S. GAAP measure and excludes the impact of currency and acquisitions and divestitures.

[2]Proposed by the Board of Directors.