highlights:

  • Q1 2019 organic growth: +0.5%
  • Q1 2019 underlying EBITA: € 227m
  • Q1 2019 EBITA margin: 4.0%topline growth slightly rebounding in Europe, robust in Rest of the world and the US
  • gross margin 19.7%, up 10bp YoY; increased management focus on pricing, supported by digital tools
  • L4Q ICR of 78%; Q1 2019 EBITA margin2 up 10bp YoY to 4.0%
  • ongoing market share gains in most regions; sound progression global roll-out of digital strategy
  • Netherlands, Belgium and Germany above market; France back at market trend
  • March organic sales growth in line with Q1; volumes in early April indicate a continuation of the trend

"Our Q1 2019 results marked a strong start to the year, as improving gross margins and agile cost management fuelled further EBITA margin progression," says CEO Jacques van den Broek. "Our organic revenue growth stabilized at a positive level, with market share gains in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, while growth in France returned to market level. Our strong regional diversification continued to pay off, as Japan, Australia, India and the Latin America region delivered significant contributions to our growth and profitability. Furthermore, our digital strategy is successfully progressing. Workforce scheduling and Youplan are now rolled out in 13 countries and increasingly contributing to sales growth. Our pricing tools are increasingly used by our consultants, further driving the productivity and profitability of the group."
"This year we are celebrating our 15 year partnership with VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), the world’s leading development NGO that fights poverty through volunteers. Together we improve the employability of poor and marginalized people. In our projects in India and Tanzania last year, we touched the lives of more than 4,000 people with a disability and unemployed youth. This is one of the ways we contribute to our ultimate goal: touching the work lives of 500 million people worldwide by 2030."