UPDATE 2-USG People net loss wider than forecast, omits div

* 2009 net loss 31 mln eur vs forecast 16.6 mln loss

* Proposes no dividend vs. 0.58 euro stock div in 2008

* Says current climate still challenging

* Two analysts had expected no div, one expected 0.16 euros

(Adds detail)

By Gilbert Kreijger

AMSTERDAM, March 3 (BestGrowthStock) – Dutch staffing firm USG
People NV (USGP.AS: ) booked a wider-than-expected loss on
Wednesday due to costs from closing branches and said it is now
better prepared to benefit from recovering markets.

USG People, which has been closing branches due to falling
sales as companies hire fewer staff, also decided not to pay a
dividend for 2009 because of the negative result.

“The organisation has become leaner, more focused and that
is a good foundation. We will profit from this further as the
markets pick up. Currently the climate is still challenging,”
USG Chief Executive Herman van Campenhout said in a statement.

The company reported a net loss of 31 million euros ($41.9
million). Four analysts in a Reuters poll had on average
expected a loss of 16.6 million.

Two analysts in the poll had expected USG People, which has
been cutting debt to remain within bank covenants, to pay no
dividend, while a third analyst had expected 0.16 euros. It paid
out 0.58 euros a year before.

Dutch rival Randstad (RAND.AS: ), which said last month it did
not see a “V-shaped” recovery in its markets, also decided to
pay no 2009 dividend because it wanted to bring down its
leverage ratio. [ID:nLDE61G0N4]

USG, Europe’s third-largest staffing firm after
Switzerland’s Adecco (ADEN.VX: ) and Randstad, said it was meeting
conditions for its bank debt covenants and had cut net debt to
376 million euros at the end of 2009 compared with 551 million
in 2008.

The company, which gets almost half of its sales from the
Netherlands, also said it grew more confident its markets would
recover based on current trends, with the strongest recovery in
the French market but a lagging Dutch market.

Switzerland’s Adecco (ADEN.VX: ), which also reported results
on Wednesday, said its markets in France and North America had
returned to growth and it expected conditions to improve
further. [ID:nLDE61P21N]

Randstad (RAND.AS: ) and U.S. rival Manpower (MAN.N: ) said last
month they were seeing signs of improvement in their markets,
though Randstad said its Dutch market was still contracting.

Investing Basics
(Editing by Erica Billingham and Hans Peters)
($1=.7395 Euro)

UPDATE 2-USG People net loss wider than forecast, omits div