uelsen schreef op 5 mei 2015 19:42:
NETHERLANDS – USG PEOPLE REPORTS MODERATE GROWTH AND ANNOUNCES COST OPTIMISATION PLAN
30 April 2015
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Dutch staffing firm USG People (USG: NV) reported revenue for the first quarter ending 31 March 2015 of €570.7 million, an organic increase of 5.1% compared with €542.8 million during the same period last year.
Q1 2015 Q1 2014 Organic Change
Revenue €570.7 million €542.8 million +5.1%
Gross Profit €120.9 million €116.5 million +4.0%
EBITDA €20.6 million €18.2 million +13.0%
According to USG’s financial results, acquisitions had a positive effect on growth of 0.2%.
In the first quarter revenue from recruitment and selection was virtually unchanged compared to last year. The termination of several unprofitable subscale activities at USG Professionals and Secretary Plus, which derive a large part of their revenue from recruitment and selection, had a negative impact on growth in permanent placements.
Rob Zandbergen, CEO of USG People, commented: “The positive developments are continuing in all the countries. In the Netherlands the recovery in the employment market is increasingly picking up pace. Demand for staff in the small and medium-sized business segment, which accounts for around half of our revenue in the Netherlands, continued to develop well in the first quarter.”
“At USG Professionals we are now seeing growth pick up in most segments too. While we did see continued price competition in the volume segment, we expect this to gradually normalise in the current improving market. In Belgium and France we were able to sustain our good performance in the first quarter, with growth also picking up in Germany.”
“Thanks to our continued strict focus on operational excellence, the growth in revenue led to a strong improvement in our underlying earnings. We expect the positive development in our markets to continue in the coming months,” Mr Zandbergen added.
Broken down geographically, USG People reported revenue in Q1 2015 as follows:
Q1 2015 Q1 2014 Organic Change
Netherlands €254.3 million €245.3 million +4.0%
Belgium €152.8 million €139.8 million +9.0%
France €108.9 million €103.0 million +6.0%
Germany €53.2 million €52.8 million +1.0%
Other €1.5 million €1.9 million -21.0%
Total €570.7 million €542.8 million +5.1%
In the Netherlands revenue growth increased to 3.7% for the first quarter; rising from 2.7% in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 6.1% in March. This acceleration of growth was attributable to the commencement of services relating to a number of large contracts acquired by Start People, as announced in previous publications.
Growth in Belgium and France remained robust in the first quarter. Belgium achieved growth of 9.3% in the quarter. At 5.7% year-on-year revenue growth, France continued to comfortably outpace the market. The company’s revenue broken down by business segment was as follows:
Q1 2015 Q1 2014 Organic Change
General Staffing €336.2 million €316.2 million +6.3%
Specialist Staffing €193.1 million €187.5 million +3.0%
Professionals €38.9 million €37.8 million +2.9%
Online Business Solutions €2.5 million €1.3 million +24.0%
Total Revenue €570.7 million €542.8 million +5.1%
Revenue per working day at USG’s General Staffing business rose by 6.3% compared with Q1 2014. In the Netherlands revenue growth at Start People accelerated during the quarter, reaching 11% in March. For the whole quarter revenue growth was 4.5%. The expiry of several large contracts in the second half of 014 was fully offset during Q1 by the commencement of services in newly acquired contracts.
Start People in Belgium reported a 10.2% rise in revenue per working day compared to last year. Growth in March, however, slowed compared with the previous two months. In France, however, Start People continued to outpace the market with revenue per working day rising by 5.4% against last year.
USG People’s Specialist Staffing business reported revenue per working day growth of 3.0% in Q1 2015 compared with last year. Subsidiaries Unique and Secretary Plus reported growth of 2.8% and 7.3%, respectively.
In the Netherlands, Specialist Staffing realised revenue growth of 2.2%, with Unique up by 2.1% while revenue from Secretary Plus accelerated to 16.1%.
In Belgium revenue per working day increased by 8.8%, with revenue growth accelerating at both Unique and Secretary Plus by 8.4% and 9.8%, respectively.
In Germany revenue increased by 0.5% with growth in March reaching 3.1%. USG’s Unique subsidiary reported moderate revenue growth of 0.4%, while Secretary Plus achieved growth of 5.5%.
Revenue per working day at USG Professionals was up 2.9%, compared with last year. In the Netherlands revenue was virtually unchanged, while in Belgium revenue per working day rose by 5.7%. With the exception of a 13% fall in revenue in the Engineering sector, which accounts for around two-fifths of total revenue at USG Professionals, there was positive development at all units. ICT revenue rose by 23.2%, while Legal registered a 26% rise. Marketing & Communication reported an increase of 24% and at Finance revenue was up 2.5%, all compared with Q1 2014.
Revenue from the company’s Online Business Solutions stemmed from the company’s acquired businesses; Adver-Online (51% stake acquired in 2013), Netwerven (51% stake acquired in October 2014), and Connecting-Expertise (51% stake acquired in December 2014).
USG People announced that a new optimisation programme will be launched to further improve the company’s cost structure in 2015 and 2016. The programme will be implemented in phases in 2015 and 2016 and will produce annual cost savings within the Dutch organisation of €20 million.
The optimisation will mainly be achieved through standardisation and harmonisation within USG’s organisation, as well as more efficient processes through the deployment of online applications. The savings will be realised gradually from the third quarter of 2015. The programme will be fully executed before the final quarter of 2016. The costs of the programme will amount to €11 million, of which €1 million was recognised in the first quarter.
According to the company’s financial statement, the employment market continued to recover in the first months of 2015. The recovery has broadened and demand for services has developed favourably practically across the board. There is growth in the SME segment and demand for highly qualified professionals is also picking up. Given the continued broadening of the recovery USG People expects the underlying positive development will continue.
In trading today, the company’s share price decreased by 2.9% to €11.85, a decrease of 3.4% compared with a year ago. Based on its current share price, the company has a market value of €941.5 million.
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