* Q2 net profit rises 15 pct to 145 mln euros
* Q2 sales 4.99 billion euros vs forecast of 5.07 bln
* Confirms on track to meet mid-term EBITA margin target
ZURICH, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Adecco, the world's largest staffing company, said underlying revenues grew 5 percent in the second quarter as it continued to benefit from a fragile recovery in European economies.
The staffing sector is generally seen as a barometer of economic health, since companies tend to hire temporary workers at the beginning of a recovery when most businesses are reluctant to commit to full-time hiring.
Adecco's underlying revenues, excluding currency moves, rose 5 percent in the second quarter to 4.99 billion euros, falling slightly shy of the average analyst forecast for 5.07 billion in a Reuters poll.
This was slightly below the 6 percent growth seen in the first quarter, but above 4 percent seen in the final three months of last year.
"Revenue growth continued at a similar level to the first quarter," Chief Executive Patrick De Maeseneire said in a statement.
"Growth remained steady in Europe, led once again by our Industrial business and as expected we saw a pick-up in activity in North America."
Business surveys published earlier this week found a buoyant service industry helped business in the euro zone expand at the second-fastest pace in three years in July. But on a gloomier note, German industrial orders fell in June at their steepest rate since September 2011.
Dutch rival Randstad has forecast a gradual recovery in the European staffing market.
In Adecco's biggest market, France, which has lagged a recovery in other European countries, revenues were flat in the quarter compared to a rise of 1 percent in the first quarter.
By contrast, revenues rose 3 percent in North America and jumped 18 percent in Italy, driven by demand from its manufacturing customers.
Last month, U.S. rival ManpowerGroup Inc said a weak performance in France had dragged on its revenue growth in the second quarter.
Quarterly net profit rose 15 percent to 145 million euros, in line with the analyst consensus.
Adecco confirmed its target for earnings before income tax and amortization (EBITA) margin to represent more than 5.5 percent of revenue by 2015.
(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Miral Fahmy)