UPDATE 2-Adecco Q1 profit more than doubles, outlook upbeat

* Q1 net income of 57 mln euros vs 52 mln in Reuters poll

* Says is confident of more demand improvement in near term

* Adecco eyeing only small acquisitions in key markets

* Shares dip, underperforming a weaker sector index

(Adds CEO interview, analyst, trader quotes)

By Catherine Bosley

ZURICH, May 6 (BestGrowthStock) – Adecco SA (ADEN.VX: ), the world’s
largest staffing company, said first-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.) more than
doubled after strong demand in key markets such as France, and
it saw further signs of growth as companies begin hiring again.

Adecco, which competes with Dutch group Randstad (RAND.AS: )
and America’s Manpower (MAN.N: ), posted a first-quarter net
profit of 57 million euros, compared with 23 million euros the
previous year and beating a mean estimate of 52 million in a
Reuters poll. [ID:nLDE63T1LC]

“Looking into the second quarter, we continue to see good
revenue developments in the majority of our markets,” Chief
Executive Patrick De Maeseneire said in a statement on Thursday.

The group, which spent much of 2009 grappling with the worst
economic slump in decades that prompted companies to cut jobs,
said the revenue growth experienced in the first quarter of the
year had continued into April.

“The staffing group is benefitting from the delicate
economic upturn in many countries,” analysts at Bank Wegelin
said in a note.

“Adecco should benefit more than others from further
economic improvements,” thanks to efficiency improvements,
geographic diversification, and focusing on higher-margin
business, the analysts also said.

In Germany, which has lagged the pickup seen in France and
North America, Adecco said it was experiencing good momentum in
general staffing.

Shares in the company, which rallied as much as 16 percent
after the full-year results were published March 3 and
outperformed the sector, were down 1 percent at 0813 GMT,
compared to a 0.2 percent drop in the STOXX 600 Industrial Goods
and Services index (.SXNP: ).

Traders said the shares eased because the market had
expected good results.

“It’s all ok, peers Manpower and Randstad have already
posted good numbers,” one trader said. “But I see the stock
improving in the course of the day.”

NO BIG DEALS

Adecco last year bought U.S. rival MPS group (MPS.N: ) and
Britain’s Spring Group (SPGR.L: ) to boost its high-margin
professional division, and CEO De Maeseneire said integrating
them his primary goal, though he did not rule out smaller buys.
[ID:nBNG199799]

“In emerging markets we’re open to evaluate smaller
acquisitions in order to have a better position” he told Reuters
in a telephone interview.

“In mature markets, if we can acquire one or the other small
company that adds really value to the country and adds skill
that we don’t have, then we’re open to it.”

Adecco’s results follow those of smaller Randstad, which
struck a similarly upbeat note last week and said further growth
was likely due to the recovery in the United States as well as
in the manufacturing and logistics sectors. [ID:nLDE63R04S]

Manpower in April reported an unexpected first-quarter
profit and higher-than-anticipated sales. [ID:nN21101301]

Adecco trades at nearly 17 times 2011 earnings, a discount
to Manpower but a premium to Randstad.

Stock Trading

(Editing by Hans Peters)

UPDATE 2-Adecco Q1 profit more than doubles, outlook upbeat