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Randstad - REBITA exceeded expectations

Randstad - REBITA exceeded expectations

25.7.2013 10:28

Sales amounted to € 4,097m (€ 4,188m KBCS & € 4,137m CSS) in 2Q13. The timing of public holidays and bridging days depressed the performance in April and May, while the rate of decline in June was similar to that shown in March (-2.6%). As a result, revenue/working day was down 3.7% in 2Q13, in line with the rate of decline in 1Q13. Underlying gross profit reached € 745m (€ 752m KBCS / € 744m CSS). The gross margin reached 18.2% (18.0% KBCS and CSS), flat y/y. Higher subsidies in France added 0.5% to the temp margin. Gross margin improvements in N-America remained strong while gross margin pressure in the Netherlands and Germany eased. Cost cutting was again the positive surprise. Opex stood at € 601m in 2Q13 (vs. € 609m KBCS & € 608m CSS). As a result, REBITA amounted to € 146m, above € 143m (€ 136m CSS) expected despite the weaker-than-expected top-line. The REBITA margin increased 50bps y/y to 3.6% (vs. 3.4% KBCS / 3.3% CSS). The recovery ratio (change in opex/change in gross profit) was 132%. Excl. the additional subsidies in France, the recovery ratio would be at 85%, well above the internally targeted level of at least 50%. The financial result of € -10.7m exceeded our € -6m forecast and paid taxes reached € 27m (€ 24m KBCS).

Adjusted net income was in line with expectations at € 91m (€ 90m KBCS & € 89m CSS). At the end of the 1H, net debt stood at € 1,113m, better than our estimate of € 1,146m (CSS € 1,175m). The leverage ratio of 1.8x is well in line with the company’s internal target. Geographies sales growth and REBITA margin: NAmerica: -3% (-1% KBCS) and 5.0% (5.1% KBCS). France: -13% (-11%
KBCS) and 4.7% margin (2.5% KBCS and 2.8% in 2Q12) as a result of the implementation of the CICE. However, this margin cannot be extrapolated to the coming quarters. As a result of a further understanding on the implementation of the new law, Randstad has recognized additional subsidies in 2Q13 which in part related to 1Q13. In 2H, Randstad expects an
increase in the gross margin in France of at least 190bps due to the CICE.

Randstad has completed the discussions with the social partners and reached agreement on a new organizational structure. This cost cutting plan runs until Sept. 13. Netherlands: -4% (-4% KBCS), revenue/working day showed a stable trend throughout the quarter. The 4.9% margin (5.0% KBCS) included € 3.6m charges in cost of services relating to previous years.

Adjusted for this, the Dutch EBITA margin would have been 5.5%. Germany: 0% (1% KBCS) with decline in volumes mitigated by a positive price effect of 7%. The REBITA margin reached 4.6% (5.0% KBCS), up 30bps y/y. Belgium: -8% (-8% KBCS) and 3.0% (4.0% KBCS). UK: 2% (2% KBCS) and 1.0% (1.8% KBCS). Iberia: -2% (+5% KBCS) with +6% in June and a margin of 2.6% (1.9% KBCS). Rest EU +7% (+7% KBCS) and 2.6% (3.1% KBCS). Rest World: 6% (7% KBCS) and 0.2% (0.5% KBCS). Outlook: i) continuing stable trend moving into 3Q13, ii) the rate of decline
may gradually ease from 2Q to 3Q (easier comps), iii) € 15-20m add. marketing costs in 3Q, iv) re the deal with USG, target = pre-tax cost synergies of € 15-20m, tax synergies and € 15m integration costs.

Conclusion: Randstad’s cost management surprised again positively, which led to an outperformance on REBITA. Outlook on top-line is in line with our scenario while we will increase our REBITA forecast as a result of strong synergy guidance.

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