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Growth in Europe and help from favorable foreign exchange rates boosted first-quarter earnings for Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN), the world's second-largest staffing company. Despite lower U.S. revenue, its earnings of 94 cents per diluted share beat analysts' estimate of 82 cents.
"Operations like Elan [its European information technology staffing brand], Germany, and Italy performed extremely well with local currency revenue growth of 43%, 22%, and 15%, respectively," said Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Joerres. "In these important markets, while we remain on guard, we do not detect material slowing in our business."
First-quarter net income rose 26.9% to $75.5 million, compared with $59.5 million in the same period in the previous year. The Milwaukee-based company said foreign exchange rates boosted first-quarter results by 14 cents per diluted share; on a constant currency basis net income rose 8.1%.
Manpower reported first-quarter revenue of $5.39 billion, up 18.8% from the $4.54 billion in the first quarter of 2007. In constant currency, the increase was 7.6%.
In the U.S., however, revenue fell 2.5% to $471.5 million from $483.6 million in the first quarter of the previous year.
Overall company gross margin improved to 18.0% from 17.6%.
Manpower estimated second-quarter earnings at $1.47 to $1.51 per diluted share, which includes a foreign currency boost of 20 cents per share.
Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN)
For the first quarter ended March 31, 2008, compared with the same period in 2007.
Revenue: $5.39 billion, +18.8%
Net income: $75.5 million, +26.9%