By John Revill
ZURICH (Reuters) – Adecco Group <ADEN.S> said its revenue growth halved during its third quarter, confirming a weaker trend seen by the global staffing industry as economic uncertainty weighs on hiring.
Adecco said its revenue growth decelerated to 2 percent in the three months ended Sept. 30, down from the 4 percent rate in the previous three months.
The company, whose figures are closely watched for clues about the health of the broader global economy, said revenue growth – when adjusted for trading days and currency changes – slowed further to 1 percent in September and October combined.
Rivals Randstad <RAND.AS> and ManpowerGroup <MAN.N> have already reported slowing revenue growth during their third quarter, reflecting greater caution among companies in adding to their workforces.
The euro zone economy grew at its weakest pace in more than four years during the third quarter as the public mood darkened, with signs of distress in Italy highlighting concerns that the bloc’s third-ranked state is becoming one of its weakest links.
Adecco said its revenue rose to 5.99 billion euros (5.23 billion pounds), matching forecasts analysts polled by Reuters. Net profit rose to 270 million euros, beating forecasts for 221 million euros as the company kept costs under control.
Adecco had already warned in September of headwinds in a number of European markets.
“As we communicated during our September investor seminar, trading in Q3 2018 was challenging,” said Chief Executive Chief Executive Alain Dehaze.
However, its largest market, France, was a bright sign, with the company signalling outperformance there as revenues rose 5 percent and margins widened.
(Reporting by John Revill; editing by Thomas Seythal)