Randstad posts loss, skips dividend

Randstad, the world’s second biggest staffing agency, booked a loss of €231.4m in the final quarter of 2008, as demand for temporary personnel plummeted and said it was scrapping its dividend.

‘This is a decision that has not been taken lightly, as we have never skipped the ordinary dividend before. We aim to re-instate payment of ordinary dividends as soon as trends reverse,’ Randstad said.
Fourth-quarter turnover reached almost €4bn, a decline of 14% on proforma figures for 2007. Randstad took over sector peer Vedior in May 2008.
‘Having grown in the first half of 2008, the unprecedented fall in demand in Q4 2008 and January 2009 reflects the major economic difficulties our clients currently face,’ said CEO Ben Noteboom in a statement.
‘We have taken the required measures to adjust our cost base although we regret letting valuable people go. We are ready to take more measures if required, whilst ensuring we remain present in any markets with long-term potential.’

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