* Sees 3rd-qtr profit of $1.46-$1.54/shr vs est $1.45
* 2nd-qtr revenue $5.32 bln vs $5.30 bln
* French economy still in first gear - CFO
* Shares fall as much as 5 pct
(Adds CFO and analysts quotes; updates shares)
By Ankit Ajmera
July 21 Staffing company ManpowerGroup Inc
said its weak performance in France dragged on the
company's revenue in the second quarter, sending its shares down
as much as 5 percent.
Manpower's average daily revenue in France, which accounts
for more than a quarter of the company's total revenue, rose 2
percent in the second quarter.
The rate of growth in the quarter was the same as the first
quarter, the company said.
"(France) is one of the economies in Europe that's still
stuck in first gear, trying desperately to get into at least
second gear," Manpower Chief Financial Officer Mike Van Handel
said on a conference call with analysts.
France, the company's largest market, has lagged a recovery
in other European countries this year. The country's economy
grew only 0.2 percent in the second quarter after stalling in
"Some investors had expected a bit more acceleration (in
France), particularly looking forward over the next few
quarters," RBC Capital Markets analyst Gary Bisbee told Reuters.
Manpower's total revenue rose 5.6 percent to $5.3 billion in
the quarter ended June 30, helped by a healthy recovery in the
overall European job market.
Still, that was not enough to impress investors used to
handy beats in the past few quarters. The stock, which had risen
21 percent in the year to Friday's close, was down 4 percent at
$79.80 by early afternoon.
As well, analysts said they expected Manpower's earnings
growth to slow this year.
"The pace of (earnings) growth is slowing despite modest
acceleration in revenue as 2013 cost reductions have lapsed,"
Manpower shut offices and cut jobs last year after the
eurozone debt crisis paralyzed job markets in 2012.
Manpower said on Monday it expects earnings of $1.46-$1.54
per share for the current quarter, compared with the average
analyst estimate of $1.45, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The staffing sector is generally seen as a barometer of
economic health, as changes in employment in the staffing
industry coincide with changes in the overall economy.
Net income increased 61 percent to $109.8 million, or $1.35
per share, from a year earlier when it took a restructuring
charge of $14.4 million.
Analysts had expected earnings of $1.33 per share.
(Editing by Savio D'Souza and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)