The first quarter figures of blue chip heavyweights Unilever, Shell and Randstad all showed an increase in revenue on Thursday.
Randstad, one of the biggest temporary employment agencies in the world, booked a 12% increase in turnover at €4.1m, but net profit fell 27% to almost €29m.
The figures, which are better than analysts had expected, showed the fragility of the European market, where demand was only up in Germany. In the Netherlands, Randstad’s first quarter sales fell 1%, the quarterly report showed.
Anglo-Dutch Unilever booked a rise in sales of almost 12% at €12bn, driven by both volume and price increases in developing markets.
‘Emerging markets, now 56% of the business, have again delivered strong growth,’ said CEO Paul Polman in a statement. ‘Our performance is pleasing given struggling economies, continued fragile consumer confidence and competitor activity.’
Shell saw its net profits rise 11% to €7.5bn while revenue rose 7% to €123bn, the oil giant said in a statement. Both oil and gas production rose over the quarter.