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AMSTERDAM, July 30 (Reuters) - Staffing company Randstad on Thursday reported better-than-expected second-quarter revenues and earnings, saying European employers are taking on workers and growth is “accelerating”, despite worries about Greece and Ukraine.
“It’s looking like a normal cycle taking off,” said Chief Financial Officer Robert Jan van de Kraats, citing progress in the French market as an example.
Randstad is the second largest staffing company globally by sales after Switzerland’s Adecco and ahead of ManpowerGroup of the United States.
Revenue per day in France, Randstad’s third-largest market, was shrinking in the fourth quarter of 2014 and flat at the start of 2015 but it grew four percent in the April-June period, he said.
Randstad’s revenue was 4.82 billion euros ($5.3 billion) in the quarter, up 13 percent from the same period a year earlier, while underlying earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA) rose 24 percent to 215 million euros.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected revenue of 4.79 billion euros and underlying EBITA of 208 million.
Randstad said the company’s margins rose to 4.3 percent from 3.8 percent, mostly due to wage improvements. The company also benefited from “perm fees”, fees paid to Randstad by employers when they decide to permanently hire an employee initially supplied or identified by Randstad.
In North America, revenue per working day rose five percent, with strong demand for skilled staff. Van de Kraats said the company continues to win U.S. market share.
In Europe, revenue per working day grew seven percent, with particular strength in the Netherlands. In Spain and other countries there was stong demand for blue collar workers “which is typical of an early stage recovery”, Van de Kraats said.
The company said that, stripping out currency effects, revenue was up more than six percent in the second quarter, and that trend has continued into the third quarter. ($1 = 0.9112 euros) (Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by David Clarke)