Adecco posts 63 percent fourth-quarter profit rise after divestment |

Adecco posts 63 percent fourth-quarter profit rise after divestment

CHESEREX, Switzerland ” Employment agency Adecco SA on Friday posted a 63 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit to 171 million euros ($204 million), largely because of a 65 million euro ($78 million) gain from the sale of one of its units.

Fourth-quarter sales rose 4 percent to 4.9 billion euros ($5.9 billion) compared with the same period in 2004, the company said in a statement.

“After a detailed review of our strategy in summer 2005, we took the necessary restructuring decisions to move the company forward,” said Adecco Chairman and Chief Executive Klaus Jacobs. “We are off to a good start in 2006 giving us comfort that our decisions are right.”

Adecco has brought all of its businesses under a single brand and reduced its number of management offices in each country to one, saving costs.

Profit for the full year rose 37 percent to 453 million euros ($541 million) compared with 332 million euros in 2004, on sales of 18.3 billion euros ($21.9 billion), up 6 percent from the previous year.

Adecco shares closed up 1.5 percent at 73.60 Swiss francs (US$56.18) on the Zurich exchange.

The 65 million euro boost to fourth-quarter earnings came from the sale of a stake in the U.S.-based engineering firm Professional Service Industries, as well as tax benefits, Adecco said.

“Assuming that the overall economic conditions remain favorable, I am confident that we will achieve revenue growth of 7-9 percent in the years to come,” Jacobs said. “We will continue acquiring companies with special business or geographical know-how where and whenever this will accelerate growth.”

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