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Strong improvements in French and Italian labour markets helped power a 6 per cent like-for-like first quarter rise in revenues at Adecco as the Swiss employment services group benefited from a pick-up in the global economy.

Adecco reported 8 per cent organic growth to €1.2bn in revenues from France – its largest market – in the three months to March compared with a year early, after taking into account differences in the number of working days. Revenues from Italy were up 26 per cent to €408m on the same basis.

Adecco acts as a bellwether for economic conditions and is likely to benefit from any further improvement in French labour markets under the country’s new president Emmanuel Macron.

Overall, Adecco reported revenues of €5.7bn in the first quarter, a working day-adjusted organic increase of 6 per cent. The fourth quarter had also seen 6 per cent organic growth.

Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation rose to €270m in the first quarter, compared with €228m a year earlier.

The positive revenue momentum had continued into April, Adecco reported, but it warned that the global economic outlook remains “uncertain”.

Highlighting the pace of digital-led changes in the world’s labour markets, Adecco announced plans for a mobile-based platform for employers in small and medium size businesses looking for temporary staff for hospitality and events.

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