July 31, 2014 / 8:17 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Randstad CFO says Ukraine crisis weighs on economic growth

3 Min Read

(Adds CFO quotes on Ukraine crisis, share price, analyst comment)

By Anthony Deutsch

July 31 (Reuters) - Employment services group Randstad Holding reported second-quarter profits in line with forecasts on Thursday and said economic growth was not picking up steam quickly partly due to uncertainty over the Ukraine crisis.

"We would have liked to see things pick up with a bit more momentum," Randstad chief financial officer, Robert Jan van de Kraats, said in an interview.

With the Ukraine crisis dominating global sentiment, Van de Kraats said, "The normal pattern of growth is rising, but it is growing slowly and that is a reflection of doubt, concern in the market."

Randstad, the world's second largest jobs company by sales which operates in 40 countries, has no direct business in either Russia or Ukraine. The CFO said the company did not experience a negative impact on business in July.

"It may be that we'll see a tick in August. I think it's likely to happen, but I don't think it will have a very noticeable effect. The world is used to a lot of uncertainty."

July results were in line with the second quarter, he said. "You don't see a big change there."

Randstad said group revenue increased 4 percent to 4.3 billion euros ($5.76 billion) in the three months to June 30, while underlying earnings rose 19 percent to 174 million euros.

Revenue slipped marginally in core markets North America, France and the Netherlands, which generate more than half of group sales.

Randstad said most European countries showed a continued recovery in the last quarter, except for France and Germany, which are slower to pick up.

"At this stage, we do not see an acceleration of growth, but we are confident that the group's gradual recovery will continue," the company said.

Analysts at ING said in a research note the results were "exactly in line results for Q2 on all levels except for the gross margin which was slightly better." ING analysts said the revenue trend through the quarter was disappointing at 5.3 percent in April and 3.6 percent in June.

Randstad shares were down 3 percent in broadly flat Amsterdam market. Source text: (bit.ly/1uJlJhn) Further company coverage: ($1 = 0.7464 Euros) (Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Jane Merriman)

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