(Updates with share move, analyst comment)
AMSTERDAM, July 21 (Reuters) - Randstad Holding NV, one of the largest staffing companies in the world, reported a loss for the second quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic curtailed demand for temporary workers, but sales fell less than analysts had expected.
Revenue fell 26% to 4.44 billion euros ($5.08 billion) from 5.96 billion euros in the same period a year earlier, while net income swung to a loss of 57 million euros from a 238 million euro profit.
Analysts had expected second-quarter revenue at 3.91 billion euros. Shares rose 8.7% to 45.10 euros at 1043 GMT.
ING analyst Marc Zwartsenburg, who has a Hold rating on shares, described the results as a “strong beat”.
“Despite COVID-19 flaring up in the U.S. the trend in the U.S. remains rather stable, while Europe is seeing a sort of v-shape recovery so far,” he said in a note.
Randstad CEO Jacques van den Broek said that the revenue decline had peaked in April, and the company is focusing resources on its existing digital platforms for job seekers and job training.
“The development of volumes in early July indicate further positive momentum,” he said, adding that it expects to benefit in the third quarter from government support schemes and cost-cutting.
However the company provided no outlook for the rest of 2020.
“Visibility remains very limited, with ongoing high macroeconomic uncertainty and some recent signs of regional lockdowns again,” Van den Broek said. ($1 = 0.8744 euros) (Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Louise Heavens)
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