AMSTERDAM -Recruitment firm Randstad on Tuesday topped market forecasts for fourth quarter earnings, helped by some big multinational clients going on a hiring spree as wages climbed fastest in the United States and more slowly in Europe.
Randstad’s earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) rose 27% to 335 million euros ($379.22 million), compared to a forecast of 322 million euros in a company-compiled poll of 12 analysts.
Three-month sales through Dec. 31 rose 12% to 6.75 billion, at the high end of forecasts, and hit a record high for the full year.
Randstad Chief Executive Officer Jacques van den Broek said demand for permanent staff placement and recruitment outsourcing business (RPO) remained strong into the start of 2022.
For some “large multinational clients we handled the whole recruitment function. We have a few clients asking us if we can recruit thousands of people,” he told Reuters in an interview.
After taking on more than 7,000 new staff in 2021, the company will continue to invest on hiring this year, but at a slower pace.
“We are glad we started to hire people a year ago.. .it is of course, also for us, getting more difficult, but it’s limited numbers compared to what we had last year.”
“Wage inflation is happening at different speeds. It is most profound in the U.S. We do see that. Less in Europe,” he said.
Randstad proposed a total cash dividend of 5 euros per share for 2021, consisting of a regular 2.19 euros and a special cash dividend of 2.81 euros.
Randstad said organic revenue growth in January was broadly in line with the last quarter of 2021, which “indicates continued positive momentum, whilst exercising caution as visibility remains limited due to pandemic-related effects and macro-economic uncertainties.”
($1 = 0.8834 euros)