New York: Global employment services company Manpower Inc reported an unexpected first-quarter profit and higher-than-expected sales, as it kept expenses down while demand for temporary workers improved with a stronger economy.
Manpower said more clients, especially in the United States, were turning to temporary staff to maintain flexibility during early stages of recovery, but said it saw improvement in all of its major markets. Manpower shares gained 3.7% to $60.95 in early trading, their best level since October.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say on a conference call that by far, the US is leading,” Chief Executive Jeff Joerres said on Wednesday. “It now feels as though we are in a classic recovery.”
The company earned $2.8 million, or 4 cents per share, reversing a year-earlier loss of $1.8 million, or 2 cents per share. Analysts had expected a loss of 7 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.
Revenue rose 12.5% to $4.1 billion, ahead of forecasts for $3.97 billion.
Milwaukee-based Manpower, which generates most of its sales and profits outside the United States, said it expected to post second-quarter profit of 14 cents to 22 cents per share, including a 10 cent impact from its recently-closed acquisition of technology staffing firm Comsys.