Yesterday Randstad (32,65 EUR, 0,60%) announced that its Belgian business has entered into formal discussions with the work councils in Belgium about a restructuring plan. The plan aims to create a more efficient and client-oriented organisation. The organisational changes will only occur in management and support functionsand involves 165 jobs. The financial effects will be communicated once the discussions with the employee representative partners have been completed. In the current challenging market conditions, the new structure will help Randstad to maintain their competitive position in the Belgian market.
This news doesn't really come as a surprise since the Belgian staffing market is still not showing any sign of recovery. Randstad's Belgian sales declined by 9% in 1Q13 and conditions are not improving in the second quarter. Randstad's REBITA margin has been under pressure as a result; the Belgian margin decreased by 100bps y/y in 4Q12 and 1Q13.