Adecco sees higher demand for flexible labor in Europe

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Adecco, the world's No. 1 staffing agency, posted a 61 percent jump in net profit in the third-quarter and flagged an increase in demand for temporary staff in Europe as the region emerges from recession.

The staffing sector is generally regarded as a good indicator of economic health as firms tend to hire temps at the start of a recovery, when most businesses are reluctant to add to their permanent staff.

"With most European economies coming out of recession, we expect demand for flexible labour to increase," Chief Executive Patrick De Maeseneire said in a statement on Wednesday.

"In Q3 2013 we returned to growth in many countries in Europe and the pick-up in Italy, Germany and Spain is especially encouraging."

His optimistic outlook echoes Dutch competitor Randstad and U.S rival Manpower, which both noted improved hiring trends in Europe when they reported the quarter.

Revenues at the Switzerland-based firm fell 5 percent to 5.033 billion euros, hurt by volatile currency swings, and came in slightly below the average forecast in a Reuters poll of 5.042 billion.

Adjusted for currency effects, revenues were stable, meaning the firm has put an end to five quarters of sliding revenues in constant currencies. The company said it returned to growth in October.

Adecco has cut costs during the crisis to try to improve profitability. Net profit was 191 million euros compared to 118 million a year earlier, smashing the average poll forecast for 137 million euros.

The Swiss firm confirmed its target for an earnings before income tax and amortisation (EBITA) margin of above 5.5 percent by 2015.

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