Booming Adecco slashes French jobs

The Swiss-based temporary employment and placement group, Adecco, which posted a strong profit rise last year, said on Thursday it would cut 530 jobs in France.

Booming Adecco slashes French jobs

Net profit at the firm soared last year by 23 percent to €519 million ($697 million) in 2011, despite a 5.7-percent decline of €133 million in the fourth quarter, Adecco said in a statement.

In France, the company intended to shed 530 positions from a total of about 6,300 in the country, as part of its plans to unite the networks of Adecco and Adia under the Adecco brand. 

Operating profit increased last year by 14.4 percent to €763 million, while sales rose 10 percent to €20.5 billion over the period.

“General staffing, especially the industrial segment, continued to lead growth, while professional staffing growth remained moderate,” Patrick De Maeseneire, CEO of the Adecco Group, said in a statement.

Activity in Germany and Austria, Italy and emerging markets showed double-digit growth over the year, while it increased by 10.0 percent in France and 8.0 percent in North America.

Growth slowed down at the end of the year in these two main markets.

In the last quarter the group recorded solid growth turnover of 13.0 percent in Britain and Ireland, 14.0 percent in Germany and Austria and 21.0 percent in emerging markets.

On the Swiss stock exchange, investors applauded the announcements, as shares surged 7.3 percent to 48.65 Swiss francs in a market up 0.19 percent in early afternoon trading.


France vows to block EU-South America trade deal in current form

France has vowed to prevent a trade deal between the European Union and the South American Mercosur bloc from being signed with its current terms, as the country is rocked by farmer protests.

France vows to block EU-South America trade deal in current form

The trade deal, which would include agricultural powers Argentina and Brazil, is among a litany of complaints by farmers in France and elsewhere in Europe who have been blocking roads to demand better conditions for their sector.

They fear it would further depress their produce prices amid increased competition from exporting nations that are not bound by strict and costly EU environmental laws.

READ ALSO Should I cancel my trip to France because of farmers’ protests?

“This Mercosur deal, as it stands, is not good for our farmers. It cannot be signed as is, it won’t be signed as is,” Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told broadcasters CNews and Europe 1.

The European Commission acknowledged on Tuesday that the conditions to conclude the deal with Mercosur, which also includes Paraguay and Uruguay, “are not quite there yet”.

The talks, however, are continuing, the commission said.

READ ALSO 5 minutes to understand French farmer protests

President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that France opposes the deal because it “doesn’t make Mercosur farmers and companies abide by the same rules as ours”.

The EU and the South American nations have been negotiating since 2000.

The contours of a deal were agreed in 2019, but a final version still needs to be ratified.

The accord aims to cut import tariffs on – mostly European – industrial and pharmaceutical goods, and on agricultural products.