The latest earnings statement for Barrett Business Services reported record first quarter earnings for the Vancouver-based company, which saw revenues and billings both climb compared with a year ago.
The company brought in $254.7 million in net revenues, a 3 percent increase over $246.4 million in the first quarter of 2022.
Gross billings rose 5 percent in the first quarter of 2023 to $1.79 billion, compared with $1.71 billion during the same period in 2022.
BBSI President and CEO Gary Kramer credited the increase to the addition of new clients in a call with investors Wednesday afternoon.
“We’re adding clients we’ve never been able to bring on before,” said Kramer, pointing to hedge funds, money managers, law firms and other white-collar businesses. This was attributed to the company adding a benefits management service.
The executive also said the company retained more clients compared with last year and that retention is stronger than it was before the pandemic.
“I feel like we’ve got a valuable product for them, and that’s why they stay with us,” he said.
The company’s increase in clients drove an increase in work-site employees, as well. Kramer said BBSI, which offers a payroll service as one of its products, added about 3,000 new work-site employees from clients compared with the previous year.
Its net income also rose to $800,000 in the first quarter, compared with $300,000 a year ago.
Despite the record quarter, Kramer told investors the company did not meet its expectations. Part of that, he said, was due to “softening” in the economy.
The company reported that the extreme weather in Northern California did take its toll, especially on clients in the construction and landscaping industry. This led to the clients’ employees working fewer hours, fewer employees working overtime and there being fewer employees in general.
Kramer said sales were better in the rest of the regions that the company operates in, more than offsetting the losses from Northern California.
He added, however, that clients grew more slowly than expected.
Kramer expressed optimism about the business service company’s future.
The CEO said the payrolls aren’t closed yet but that “April was a very strong month for us.
“We feel real optimistic about the future and about what we can control,” he said.
The business services company trades on the Nasdaq as BBSI. Its stock price closed Thursday at $78.48 per share, down from $82.53 per share on Wednesday.