Manpower 1Q17 Earnings Call Notes

Jonas Prising

Optimistic about overall outlook for Europe

“While we continue to be cautious on the UK and as they prepare to exit the EU, we are optimistic about the overall outlook for Europe and the favorable impact that it could have on demand for our services and solutions.”

Great deal of optimism in France

“We also see some improvement in the labor market outlook with a great deal of optimism in France, as President Macron has a clear mandate for reforms including labor market reform which should benefit that economy and stimulate better employment growth. We recently published our third quarter, ManpowerGroup employment outlook survey tracking forward-looking quarterly changes in employer sentiment and that survey is showing a similar trend of slowly improving employer hiring intent both in Europe as well as globally.”

Too early to say if UK weakness related to Brexit

“Just as we said last quarter, we think it’s too early to call whether our weakness in the UK is related to Brexit. We actually saw a bit of an improvement in the Manpower business during the second quarter, but we saw a number of large clients in the UK. On the Experis side, pull back. So, too early call whether these are early signs, but as you know well, when employers are operating under uncertainty and they have to make decisions they are going to be cautious on making investments in the UK based on the uncertainty and that’s something that we expect to see happen and we just don’t know when. `”

Manufacturing in US is stable but not improving at the speed we’d like

“So, I think the outlook is actually stable and it’s not likely improving in the areas that where we’ve seen weakness on the Manpower side for us in the UK – I mean, in the U.S. and the progress is directionally good, but the speed is not that what we would like of course. So, we are going to keep on working on it, but I do think that we have opportunities to continue to see improvements going forward for both Manpower and for Experis in the U.S.”

Macron gave green light

“So, Mark, on France, I think one of the notable changes that you may have seen as well is the improvement in the business confidence overall and in consumer confidence. So Macron’s election really gave the green light for France to return to action and just make some of the necessary changes, structure reforms that France has been needing for a long time.”

Jack McGinnis

Prolonged weakness in manufacturing in US

“As we have mentioned previously, the prolonged weakness in the manufacturing side of the U.S. economy has impacted the demand for our services over the past several quarters, and in recent quarters, our Professional Services has also experienced revenue declines.”