Manpower 1Q16 Earnings Call Notes

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Jonas Prising

Global economy slightly softer

“Looking back over the past quarters, our view of the external environment is not significantly different. We are operating in a global economy that appears to become slightly softer for a variety of reasons over the past 12 months, but with continued good growth opportunities in a number of markets. We believe that the global economy will continue to be unease. And that is the environment we are prepared for both operationally and strategically.”

Don’t see signs of global downturn

“at this time we don’t see any signs of a broad-based global downturn. In fact, many companies expressed difficulty finding the right talent as evidenced by the findings of our 2015 talent shortage survey published late last year’

Market for IT skills is still healthy, but maybe slightly softer

” I would describe the demand for IT skills to still be healthy, maybe slightly softer. But, this is also been impacted by the increasing difficultly and tightness of the labor markets for those skills.”

France is on a recovery trajectory, but uneven

“we continue to believe that France is on a recovery trajectory. It is an environment that is uneven in France and you can see that although the economic growth is improving, it is improving from a very low level to frankly reasonably modest level at least according to the IMF forecast.”

Counting the number of billing days

“Sure. In terms of billing days overall, in the third quarter we are flat with it. We got the same number of days at right around 65 days both periods. And then, in the fourth quarter, 65, during the fourth quarter we actually lose a day. We are at about 63 versus about 64 in the prior year. So it was the impact from days. And then, the last part of your question, I’m trying to remember.”

Mike Van Handel

31% “constant currency” growth on 2% volume growth in Argentina

“Revenue in Argentina was up 31% constant currency. Our revenues were impacted by inflation; the underlying fundamentals of the business continue to show growth with volume growth up 2% from the quarter. Revenue growth of the other countries within Americas was up 20% in constant currency or 7% on an organic basis.”

US revenue impacted by sluggish manufacturing

“Revenue in the U.S. was $703 million a contraction of 3% compared to the prior year. As we mentioned in the last few quarters, we have seen weakness in the manufacturing side of the U.S. economy impact demand for our services. Encouragingly, this trend seems to have stabilized with ISO manufacturing index back up of 50 last month for the first time since September. While our business is still down in the first quarter it reflects an improvement from the 5% decline we reported in the fourth quarter.