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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
FORM 10-K
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES
EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 29, 2019

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES
EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the transition period from _________  to  __________ 
                                                
Commission file number 0-1088 

 KELLY SERVICES, INC. 
 (Exact Name of Registrant as specified in its Charter) 
 
Delaware   38-1510762 
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)  (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

999 West Big Beaver Road, Troy, Michigan 48084
(Address of principal executive offices)  (Zip Code)

(248) 362-4444
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: 

Title of each
class
Trading
Symbols
Name of each exchange
on which registered
Class A CommonKELYANASDAQ Global Market 
Class B CommonKELYBNASDAQ Global Market 

Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐ No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes ☒ No ☐



Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. 

Large accelerated filerAccelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer (Do not check if a smaller
reporting company)
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
                                                           
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes No ☒
 
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold, or the average bid and asked price of such common equity, as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was approximately $873.3 million.
 
Registrant had 35,690,197 shares of Class A and 3,427,518 of Class B common stock, par value $1.00, outstanding as of February 02, 2020.

Documents Incorporated by Reference
 
The proxy statement of the registrant with respect to its 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders is incorporated by reference in Part III.
2


PART I

Unless the context otherwise requires, throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K the words “Kelly,” “Kelly Services,” “the Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Kelly Services, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.

ITEM 1. BUSINESS.

History and Development of Business

Founded by William R. Kelly in 1946, Kelly Services® pioneered an industry that connects people to work in ways that enrich their lives. At our inception we helped usher in and embolden a workforce of women, opening doors and creating opportunities where none had existed. As work evolved we equipped people with the skills to master the technologies of the day: launching the first-of-its-kind online learning center for scientists; creating testing and training packages for new office programs; and launching skill builders to align with new light industrial protocols. With each advance we have empowered people to meet the needs of a changing marketplace, and enabled companies to access skilled talent that can move their businesses forward.

As work has evolved so has our range of solutions, growing over the years to reflect the changing needs of our customers and the changing nature of work itself. We have progressed from a traditional office staffing company into a workforce solutions leader delivering expertise in a portfolio of specialty services. We rank as one of the world’s largest scientific and clinical staffing providers and place talent at all levels in engineering, IT and finance. We are also the leading provider in the K-12 educational staffing market in the U.S., while also providing talent in early childhood education, non-instructional roles and adjunct professors. These services complement our expertise in professional office services, contact center, light industrial and electronic assembly staffing. As work has evolved and talent management has become more complex, we have also developed innovative solutions to help many of the world’s largest companies plan for and manage their workforce through outsourcing, consulting, recruitment, talent advisory, career transition and supplier management services.

Geographic Breadth of Services

Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, Kelly provides workforce solutions to a diversified group of customers in three regions: the Americas; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (“EMEA”); and Asia Pacific (“APAC”). Our customer base spans a variety of industries and includes 90 percent of the Fortune 100™ companies.

In 2019, we assigned approximately 440,000 temporary employees to a variety of customers around the globe.

Description of Business Segments

Our operations are divided into three business segments: Americas Staffing, Global Talent Solutions (“GTS”) and International Staffing. In July 2016, we expanded our joint venture with Persol Holdings (formerly Temp Holdings) to form PersolKelly Asia Pacific (the “JV”) and moved our APAC staffing operations into the JV. We provide staffing solutions through our branch networks, on-site staff and virtual teams in our Americas and International operations. In addition to staffing solutions, we also provide a suite of innovative talent fulfillment and outcome-based solutions through our GTS segment, which delivers integrated talent management solutions to meet customer needs across the entire spectrum of talent categories. Using talent supply chain strategies, GTS helps customers design, execute, and manage workforce programs that enable them to connect with talent across all work styles (full-time, independent contractor, temporary, etc.) and gain access to a vast network of qualified service providers.

Americas Staffing

Our Americas Staffing segment represents the Company’s branch-delivered staffing business in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. This segment delivers temporary staffing, as well as direct-hire placement services, in a number of specialty staffing services, including: Office, providing trained employees for data entry, clerical and administrative support roles across numerous industries; Education, supplying schools nationwide with instructional and non-instructional employees; Marketing, providing support staff for seminars, sales and trade shows; Electronic Assembly, providing assemblers, quality control inspectors and technicians; Light Industrial, placing maintenance workers, material handlers and assemblers; Science, providing all levels of scientists and scientific and clinical research workforce solutions; Engineering, supplying engineering professionals across all disciplines, including 5G, aeronautical, chemical, civil/structural, electrical/instrumentation, environmental, industrial, mechanical, petroleum, pharmaceutical, quality and telecommunications; Information Technology, placing IT specialists across all disciplines; and Finance and Accounting, serving the needs of corporate finance departments,
3


accounting firms and financial institutions with all levels of financial professionals. We also offer direct-hire placement services across all of these specialties.

International Staffing

Our International Staffing segment represents the Company’s branch-delivered staffing business in the EMEA region. International Staffing provides a similar range of staffing services as described for our Americas Staffing segment above, including: Office, Engineering, Finance and Accounting, IT and Science. Additional service areas include: Catering and Hospitality, providing chefs, porters and hospitality representatives; and Industrial, supplying manual workers to semi-skilled professionals in a variety of trade, non-trade and operational positions.

GTS

Our GTS segment combines the delivery structure of the Company’s outsourcing and consulting group and centrally delivered staffing business. It reflects the trend of customers towards the adoption of holistic talent supply chain solutions which combine contingent labor, full-time hiring and outsourced services. Services in this segment include: Centrally delivered staffing for large accounts; Contingent Workforce Outsourcing (“CWO”), delivering contingent labor to customers using a managed service provider model; Recruitment Process Outsourcing (“RPO”), offering end-to-end talent acquisition solutions, including customized recruitment projects; Business Process Outsourcing (“BPO”), offering full staffing and operational management of non-core functions or departments; Payroll Process Outsourcing (“PPO”), providing centralized payroll processing solutions for our customers, and KellyConnect, offering contact center staffing solutions which focus on delivering talent to a customer’s call center operations. This segment also provides career transition/outplacement services and talent advisory services.

Financial information regarding our industry segments is included in the Segment Disclosures footnote in the notes to our consolidated financial statements presented in Part II, Item 8 of this report.

Business Objectives

Kelly’s philosophy as a talent company is rooted in the conviction that our business makes a difference on a daily basis—in the lives of our employees and talent networks, for our customers, in the local communities we serve and in the broader economy. We aspire to be a destination for top talent and a strategic business partner for our customers. Our solutions are designed to connect with talent across targeted specialties and a variety of flexible work styles, and to offer customers access to workforce solutions that can be customized as they seek to operate more efficient and competitive organizations. To achieve these goals, we continue to adopt forward-looking technologies and innovative business practices that can drive success in a dynamic market.

With more than one-third of the world’s workforce now participating as independent workers, more companies are adopting strategies that recognize contingent labor, consultants and project-based work as keys to their ongoing success. We continue to refine our core competencies to help them connect with talent and realize their business objectives. Kelly offers world-class staffing on a temporary and direct placement basis, as well as a comprehensive array of outsourcing, consulting and talent advisory services. Kelly continues to target areas of investment and expertise to solve our customers’ workforce challenges and create opportunity for talent in the changing marketplace.
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Business Operations

Service Marks

We own numerous service marks that are registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the European Union Community Trademark Office and numerous individual country trademark offices.

Seasonality

Our quarterly operating results are affected by the seasonality of our customers’ businesses. With the exception of our education business, demand for staffing services historically has been lower during the first quarter, and typically increases during the remainder of the year.

Working Capital

Our working capital requirements are primarily generated from employee payroll and customer accounts receivable. Since receipts from customers generally lag payroll to temporary employees, working capital requirements increase substantially in periods of growth. Conversely, when economic activity slows, working capital requirements may substantially decrease.

Customers

Kelly’s client portfolio spans companies of all sizes, ranging from local and mid-sized businesses to the Fortune 500. In 2019, an estimated 51% of total Company revenue was attributed to our largest 100 customers. Our largest single customer accounted for approximately six percent of total revenue in 2019.

Government Contracts

Although we conduct business under various federal, state, and local government contracts, no single one accounts for more than three percent of total Company revenue in 2019.

Competition

The worldwide workforce solutions industry is competitive and highly fragmented. In the United States, we compete with other firms that operate nationally, and with thousands of smaller companies that compete in varying degrees at local levels. Additionally, several similar staffing companies compete globally. In 2019, our largest competitors were Randstad, Adecco Group, ManpowerGroup Inc., Recruit Holdings and Allegis Group.

Key factors that influence our success are quality of service, price and breadth of service.

Quality of service is highly dependent on the availability of qualified, competent talent, and our ability to recruit, screen, train, retain and manage a pool of employees who match the skills required by particular customers. During an economic downturn, we must balance competitive pricing pressures with the need to retain a qualified workforce. Price competition in the staffing industry is intense, particularly for office clerical and light industrial personnel, and pricing pressure from customers and competitors continues to be significant.

Breadth of service, or ability to manage staffing suppliers, has become more critical as customers seek a single supplier to manage all their staffing needs. Kelly’s talent supply chain management approach seeks to address this requirement for our larger customers, enabling us to deliver talent wherever and whenever they need it around the world.

Corporate Sustainability

As a leading specialty talent and workforce solutions provider, we connect people with employment opportunities and make a difference in the communities in which we live and work. Given the worldwide span of our workers, clients, suppliers, and partners, we recognize the global reach of our business practices and our public accountability. We will continue to advocate on behalf of the global workforce, improve our workplaces, contribute to the communities we serve, and ensure our actions are socially, ethically, and environmentally responsible. However, as a service business, we are not materially impacted by federal, state, or local laws that regulate the discharge of materials into the environment.


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Employees

We employ approximately 1,000 people at our corporate headquarters in Troy, Michigan, and approximately 6,700 staff members in our U.S. and international network of branch offices. In 2019, we recruited approximately 440,000 temporary employees on behalf of customers around the globe.

While services may be provided inside the facilities of customers, we remain the employer of record for our temporary employees. We retain responsibility for employee assignments, including workers’ compensation insurance, the employer’s share of all applicable payroll taxes and the administration of the employee’s share of these taxes. We offer access to various health and other benefit programs to our employees.

Foreign Operations

For information regarding sales, earnings from operations and long-lived assets by domestic and foreign operations, please refer to the information presented in the Segment Disclosures footnote in the notes to our consolidated financial statements, presented in Part II, Item 8 of this report.

Access to Company Information

We electronically file our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and all amendments to those reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The public may read and copy any of the reports that are filed with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. The public may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. The SEC also maintains an Internet website at www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically.

We make available, free of charge, through our website, and by responding to requests addressed to our senior vice president of investor relations, our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and all amendments to those reports. These reports are available as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. Our website address is: www.kellyservices.com. The information contained on our website, or on other websites linked to our website, is not part of this report.

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ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS.

We operate in a highly competitive industry with low barriers to entry and may be unable to compete successfully against existing or new competitors.

The worldwide staffing services market is highly competitive with limited barriers to entry. We compete in global, national, regional and local markets with full-service and specialized temporary staffing and consulting companies. Randstad, Adecco Group, ManpowerGroup Inc., Recruit Holdings and Allegis Group, are considerably larger than we are and have more substantial marketing and financial resources. Additionally, the emergence of online staffing platforms or other forms of disintermediation may pose a competitive threat to our services, which operate under a more traditional staffing business model. Price competition in the staffing industry is intense, particularly for the provision of office clerical and light industrial personnel. We expect that the level of competition will remain high, which could limit our ability to maintain or increase our market share or profitability.

The number of customers distributing their staffing service purchases among a broader group of competitors continues to increase which, in some cases, may make it more difficult for us to obtain new customers, or to retain or maintain our current share of business, with existing customers. We also face the risk that our current or prospective customers may decide to provide similar services internally. As a result, there can be no assurance that we will not encounter increased competition in the future.

Our business is significantly affected by fluctuations in general economic conditions.

Demand for staffing services is significantly affected by the general level of economic activity and employment in the United States and the other countries in which we operate. When economic activity increases, temporary employees are often added before full-time employees are hired. As economic activity slows, however, many companies reduce their use of temporary employees before laying off full-time employees. Significant swings in economic activity historically have had a disproportionate impact on staffing industry volumes. We may not fully benefit from times of increased economic activity should we experience shortages in the supply of temporary employees. We may also experience more competitive pricing pressure and slower customer payments during periods of economic downturn. A substantial portion of our revenues and earnings are generated by our business operations in the United States. Any significant economic downturn in the United States or certain other countries in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Technological advances may significantly disrupt the labor market and weaken demand for human capital at a rapid rate.

Our success is directly dependent on our customers’ demands for talent. As technology continues to evolve, more tasks currently performed by people may be replaced by automation, robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and other technological advances outside of our control.  This trend poses a risk to the staffing industry as a whole, particularly in lower-skill job categories that may be more susceptible to such replacement.

Our business strategy may be insufficient or not achieve its intended effects.

Our business strategy focuses on driving profitable growth in key specialty areas. We are making targeted investments in our chosen specialties, focusing on growth platforms and developing a more robust operating model to bridge our strategy to execution. If we are unsuccessful in executing our strategy, we may not achieve either our stated goal of revenue growth or the intended productivity improvements, which could negatively impact profitability. Even if effectively executed, our strategy may prove insufficient in light of changes in market conditions, technology, competitive pressures or other external factors.

We are at risk of damage to our brand, which is important to our success.

Our success depends, in part, on the goodwill associated with our brand. Because we assign employees to work under the direction and supervision of our customer at work locations not under Kelly’s control, we are at risk of our employees engaging in unauthorized conduct that could harm our reputation. Moreover, significant disputes with clients or suppliers, compliance violations, cyberattacks, customer dissatisfaction, social media incidents, media reports, or corporate sustainability issues could harm our reputation. Our Kelly Education product is particularly susceptible to this exposure. An occurrence that damages Kelly’s reputation could cause the loss of current and future customers, additional regulatory scrutiny and liability to third parties, which could negatively impact profitability.

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Our intellectual property assets could be infringed upon or compromised, and there are limitations to our ability to protect against such events.

Our success is dependent in part on our proprietary business processes, our intellectual property and our thought leadership. To protect those rights, we depend upon protections afforded by the laws of the various countries in which we operate, as well as contractual language and our own enforcement initiatives. These defenses may not be sufficient to fully protect us or to deter infringement or other misappropriation of our trade secrets and other intellectual property. In addition, third parties may challenge the validity or enforceability of our intellectual property rights. We also face the risk that third parties may allege that the operation of our business infringes or otherwise misappropriates intellectual property rights that they own or license. Losses or claims of this nature could cause us to incur significant expense, harm our reputation, reduce our competitive advantages or prevent us from offering certain services or solutions. The remedies available to us may be limited or leave us without full compensation.

If we fail to successfully develop new service offerings, we may be unable to retain our current customers and gain new customers and our revenues would decline.

The process of developing new service offerings requires accurate anticipation of customers’ changing needs and emerging technological trends. This may require that we make long-term investments and commit significant resources before knowing whether these investments will eventually result in service offerings that achieve customer acceptance and generate the revenues required to provide desired returns. If we fail to accurately anticipate and meet our customers’ needs through the development of new service offerings or do not successfully deliver new service offerings, our competitive position could be weakened and that could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

As we increasingly offer services outside the realm of traditional staffing, including business process outsourcing and services intended to connect talent to independent work, we are exposed to additional risks which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Our business strategy focuses on driving profitable growth in key specialty areas, including through business process outsourcing arrangements, where we provide operational management of our customers’ non-core functions or departments. This could expose us to certain risks unique to that business, including product liability or product recalls. In addition, as the nature of work changes, we deliver services that connect talent to independent work with our customers and expect that such services will continue to expand. Although we have internal vetting processes intended to control such risks, there is no assurance that these processes will be effective or that we will be able to identify these potential risks in a timely manner. Additionally, while we maintain insurance in types and amounts we believe are appropriate in light of the aforementioned exposures, there can also be no assurance that such insurance policies will remain available on reasonable terms or be sufficient in amount or scope of coverage.

We are increasingly dependent on third parties for the execution of critical functions.

We leverage many cloud-based services in our business operations, including vendor management, customer relationship management, and applicant tracking systems. We have elected to enter into supplier partnerships rather than establishing or maintaining our own operations in some of the territories where our customers require our services. We do not maintain a controlling interest in our expanded staffing joint venture in Asia Pacific (PersolKelly Asia Pacific) and have elected to rely on the joint venture to provide certain back office and administrative services to our GTS operations in the region. The failure or inability to perform on the part of one or more of these critical suppliers or partners could cause significant disruptions and increased costs.

Past and future acquisitions may not be successful.

From time to time, we acquire and invest in companies throughout the world. Acquisitions involve a number of risks, including the diversion of management’s attention from its existing operations, the failure to retain key personnel or customers of an acquired business, the failure to realize anticipated benefits such as cost savings and revenue enhancements, the potentially substantial transaction costs associated with acquisitions, the assumption of unknown liabilities of the acquired business and the inability to successfully integrate the business into our operations. Potential impairment losses could result if we overpay for an acquisition. There can be no assurance that any past or future acquired businesses will generate anticipated revenues or earnings.

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Investments in equity affiliates expose us to additional risks and uncertainties.

We participate, or may participate in the future, in certain investments in equity affiliates, such as joint ventures or other equity method investments with strategic partners, including PersolKelly Asia Pacific. These arrangements expose us to a number of risks, including the risk that the management of the combined venture may not be able to fulfill their performance obligations under the management agreements or that the joint venture parties may be incapable of providing the required financial support. Additionally, improper, illegal or unethical actions by the venture management could have a negative impact on the reputation of the venture and our company.

A loss of major customers or a change in such customers’ buying behavior could have a material adverse effect on our business.

We serve many large corporate customers through high volume global service agreements. While we intend to maintain or increase our revenues and earnings from our major corporate customers, we are exposed to risks arising from the possible loss of major customer accounts. The deterioration of the financial condition or business prospects of these customers could reduce their need for our services and result in a significant decrease in the revenues and earnings we derive from these customers. Continuing merger and acquisition activity involving our large corporate customers could put existing business at risk or impose additional pricing pressures. Since receipts from customers generally lag payroll to temporary employees, the bankruptcy of a major customer could have a material adverse impact on our ability to meet our working capital requirements. Additionally, most of our customer contracts can be terminated by the customer on short notice without penalty. This creates uncertainty with respect to the revenues and earnings we may recognize with respect to our customer contracts.

Our business with large customer accounts reflects a market-driven shift in buying behaviors in which reliance on a small number of staffing partners has shifted to reliance upon a network of talent providers. The movement from single-sourced to competitively sourced staffing contracts may also substantially reduce our future revenues from such customers. While Kelly has sought to address this trend, including providing Contingent Workforce Outsourcing ("CWO") services within our GTS segment, we may not be selected or retained as the CWO service provider by our large customers. This may result in a material decrease in the revenue we derive from providing staffing services to such customers. In addition, revenues may be materially impacted from our decision to exit customers due to pricing pressure or other business factors.

Our business with the federal government and government contractors presents additional risk considerations. We must comply with laws and regulations relating to the formation, administration and performance of federal government contracts. Failure to meet these obligations could result in civil penalties, fines, suspension of payments, reputational damage, disqualification from doing business with government agencies and other sanctions or adverse consequences. Government procurement practices may change in ways that impose additional costs or risks upon us or pose a competitive disadvantage. Our employees may be unable to obtain or retain the security clearances necessary to conduct business under certain contracts, or we could lose or be unable to secure or retain a necessary facility clearance. Government agencies may temporarily or permanently lose funding for awarded contracts, or there could be delays in the start-up of projects already awarded and funded.

We conduct a significant portion of our operations outside of the United States and we are subject to risks relating to our international business activities, including fluctuations in currency exchange rates and numerous legal and regulatory requirements.

We conduct our business in most major staffing markets throughout the world. Our operations outside the United States are subject to risks inherent in international business activities, including:

fluctuations in currency exchange rates;
restrictions or limitations on the transfer of funds;
government intrusions including asset seizures, expropriations or de facto control;
varying economic and political conditions;
differences in cultures and business practices;
differences in employment and tax laws and regulations;
differences in accounting and reporting requirements;
differences in labor and market conditions;
compliance with trade sanctions;
changing and, in some cases, complex or ambiguous laws and regulations; and
litigation, investigations and claims.

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Our operations outside the United States are reported in the applicable local currencies and then translated into U.S. dollars at the applicable currency exchange rates for inclusion in our consolidated financial statements. Exchange rates for currencies of these countries may fluctuate in relation to the U.S. dollar and these fluctuations may have an adverse or favorable effect on our operating results when translating foreign currencies into U.S. dollars.

Our investment in Persol Holdings exposes us to potential market and currency exchange risks.

We are exposed to market and currency risks on our investment in Persol Holdings. The investment is stated at fair value and is marked to market through net earnings. Changes in the market price are based on the Persol Holdings stock price as listed in the Tokyo stock exchange, and such changes may be material. Foreign currency fluctuations on this yen-denominated investment are reflected as a component of other comprehensive income and, accordingly, the exchange rate fluctuations may have a material adverse or favorable effect on our financial statements.

Our international operations subject us to potential liability under anti-corruption, trade protection, and other laws and regulations.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other anti-corruption laws and regulations (“Anti-Corruption Laws”) prohibit corrupt payments by our employees, vendors, or agents. While we devote substantial resources to our global compliance programs and have implemented policies, training, and internal controls designed to reduce the risk of corrupt payments, our employees, vendors, or agents may violate our policies. Our failure to comply with Anti-Corruption Laws could result in significant fines and penalties, criminal sanctions against us, our officers or our employees, prohibitions on the conduct of our business, and damage to our reputation. Operations outside the U.S. may be affected by changes in trade protection laws, policies and measures, and other regulatory requirements affecting trade and investment. As a result, we may be subject to legal liability and reputational damage.

We depend on our ability to attract, develop and retain qualified permanent full-time employees.

As we aim to expand the number of clients utilizing our higher margin specialty solutions in support of our growth strategy, we are highly reliant on individuals who possess specialized knowledge and skills to lead related specialty solutions and operations.  There can be no assurance that qualified personnel will continue to be available.  Our success is increasingly dependent on our ability to attract, develop and retain these experts.

We depend on our ability to attract and retain qualified temporary personnel (employed directly by us or through third-party suppliers).

We depend on our ability to attract qualified temporary personnel who possess the skills and experience necessary to meet the staffing requirements of our customers. We must continually evaluate our base of available qualified personnel to keep pace with changing customer needs. Competition for individuals with proven professional skills is intense, and demand for these individuals is expected to remain strong for the foreseeable future. There can be no assurance that qualified personnel will continue to be available in sufficient numbers and on terms of employment acceptable to us and our customers. Our success is substantially dependent on our ability to recruit and retain qualified temporary personnel.

We may be exposed to employment-related claims and losses, including class action lawsuits and collective actions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

We employ and assign personnel in the workplaces of other businesses. The risks of these activities include possible claims relating to:

discrimination and harassment;
wrongful termination or retaliation;
violations of employment rights related to employment screening or privacy issues;
apportionment between us and our customer of legal obligations as an employer of temporary employees;
classification of workers as employees or independent contractors;
employment of unauthorized workers;
violations of wage and hour requirements;
retroactive entitlement to employee benefits, including health insurance;
failure to comply with leave policy requirements; and
errors and omissions by our temporary employees, particularly for the actions of professionals such as attorneys, accountants, teachers and scientists.
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We are also subject to potential risks relating to misuse of customer proprietary information, misappropriation of funds, death or injury to our employees, damage to customer facilities due to negligence of temporary employees, criminal activity and other similar occurrences. We may incur fines and other losses or negative publicity with respect to these risks. In addition, these occurrences may give rise to litigation, which could be time-consuming and expensive. In the U.S. and certain other countries in which we operate, new employment and labor laws and regulations have been proposed or adopted that may increase the potential exposure of employers to employment-related claims and litigation. In addition, such laws and regulations are arising with increasing frequency at the state and local level in the U.S. and the resulting inconsistency in such laws and regulations results in additional complexity. There can be no assurance that the corporate policies and practices we have in place to help reduce our exposure to these risks will be effective or that we will not experience losses as a result of these risks. Although we maintain insurance in types and amounts we believe are appropriate in light of the aforementioned exposures, there can also be no assurance that such insurance policies will remain available on reasonable terms or be sufficient in amount or scope of coverage. Additionally, should we have a material inability to produce records as a consequence of litigation or a government investigation, the cost or consequences of such matters could become much greater.

A failure to maintain the privacy of information entrusted to us could have significant adverse consequences.

In the normal course of business we control, we process or have access to personal information regarding our own employees or employment candidates, as well as that of many of our customers or managed suppliers. Information concerning our employees and candidates may also reside in systems controlled by third parties for purposes such as employee benefits and payroll administration. The legal and regulatory environment concerning data privacy is becoming more complex and challenging, and the potential consequences of non-compliance have become more severe. Changes in the regulatory environment, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act, impose additional compliance requirements related to the collection, use, processing, transfer, disclosure, and retention of personal information, which can increase operating costs and resources to accomplish. Any failure to abide by these regulations or to protect such personal information from inappropriate access or disclosure, whether through social engineering or by accident or other cause, could have severe consequences including fines, litigation, regulatory sanctions including loss of our status as a subscriber to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, reputational damage and loss of customers or employees. Although we have a program designed to preserve the privacy of the personal data that we control or process, as well as personal data that we entrust to third parties, there can be no assurance that our program will meet all current and future regulatory requirements, anticipate all potential methods of unauthorized access, or prevent all inappropriate disclosures. Our insurance coverage may not be sufficient to cover all such costs or consequences, and there can be no assurance that any insurance that we now maintain will remain available under acceptable terms.

Cyberattacks or other breaches of network or information technology security could have an adverse effect on our systems, services, reputation and financial results.

We rely upon multiple information technology systems and networks, some of which are web-based or managed by third parties, to process, transmit and store electronic information and to manage or support a variety of critical business processes and activities. Our networks and applications are increasingly accessed from locations and by devices not within our physical control, and the specifics of our technology systems and networks may vary by geographic region. In the course of ordinary business, we may store or process proprietary or confidential information concerning our business and financial performance and current, past or prospective employees, customers, vendors and managed suppliers. The secure and consistent operation of these systems, networks and processes is critical to our business operations. Moreover, our temporary employees may be exposed to, or have access to, similar information in the course of their customer assignments. We routinely experience cyberattacks, which may include the use of malware, computer viruses, phishing, social engineering schemes and other means of attempted disruption or unauthorized access.

The actions we take to reduce the risk of impairments to our operations or systems and breaches of confidential or proprietary data may not be sufficient to prevent or repel future cyber events or other impairments of our networks or information technologies. An event involving the destruction, modification, accidental or unauthorized release, or theft of sensitive information from systems related to our business, or an attack that results in damage to or unavailability of our key technology systems or those of critical vendors, could result in damage to our reputation, fines, regulatory sanctions or interventions, contractual or financial liabilities, additional compliance and remediation costs, loss of employees or customers, loss of payment card network privileges, operational disruptions and other forms of costs, losses or reimbursements, any of which could materially adversely affect our operations or financial condition. Our cyber security and business continuity plans, and those of our third party vendors, may not be effective in anticipating, preventing and effectively responding to all potential cyber risk exposures. Our insurance coverage may not be sufficient to cover all such costs or consequences, and there can be no assurance that any insurance that we now maintain will remain available under acceptable terms.

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Damage to our key data centers could affect our ability to sustain critical business applications.

Many business processes critical to our continued operation are hosted in outsourced facilities in America and Europe. Certain other processes are hosted at our corporate headquarters complex or occur in cloud-based computer environments. These critical processes include, but are not limited to, payroll, customer reporting and order management. Although we have taken steps to protect all such instances by establishing robust data backup and disaster recovery capabilities, the loss of these data centers or access to the cloud-based environments could create a substantial risk of business interruption which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our information technology projects may not yield their intended results.

We have a number of information technology projects in process or in the planning stages, including improvements to applicant onboarding and tracking systems, order management, and improvements to financial processes such as billing and accounts payable through system consolidation and upgrades. Although the technology is intended to increase productivity and operating efficiencies, these projects may not yield their intended results. Any delays in completing, or an inability to successfully complete, these technology initiatives or an inability to achieve the anticipated efficiencies could adversely affect our operations, liquidity and financial condition. In our information technology projects we rely on our own project work as well as those of third party vendors. If our vendors are unable to provide these services, or if the vendor is replaced by another vendor, we could be subject to business interruptions or data loss which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, our information technology investments and strategy may not provide the ability to keep up with evolving industry trends and customer expectations which could weaken our competitive position. We also do not currently utilize a single enterprise resource planning system, which limits our ability and increases the amount of investment and effort necessary to provide global service integration to our customers.

Failure to maintain adequate financial and management processes and controls could lead to errors in our financial reporting.

Failure to maintain adequate financial and management processes and controls could lead to errors in our financial reporting. If our management is unable to certify the effectiveness of our internal controls or if our independent registered public accounting firm cannot render an opinion on the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting, or if material weaknesses in our internal controls are identified, we could be subject to regulatory scrutiny and a loss of public confidence. In addition, if we do not maintain adequate financial and management personnel, processes and controls, we may not be able to accurately report our financial performance on a timely basis, which could have a negative effect on our stock price.

Impairment charges relating to our goodwill, intangibles and long-lived assets, including equity method investments, could adversely affect our results of operations.

We regularly monitor our goodwill, long-lived assets and equity method investments for impairment indicators.  In conducting our goodwill impairment testing, we compare the fair value of each of our reporting units with goodwill to the related net book value.  In conducting our impairment analysis of long-lived assets and intangibles, we compare the undiscounted cash flows expected to be generated from the long-lived assets and intangibles to the related net book values. We review our equity method investment for indicators of impairment on a quarterly basis or whenever events or circumstances indicate the carrying amount may be other-than-temporarily impaired. Changes in economic or operating conditions impacting our estimates and assumptions could result in the impairment of our goodwill, intangibles, long-lived assets and equity method investments. In the event that we determine that there is an impairment, we may be required to record a significant non-cash charge to earnings that could adversely affect our results of operations.

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Unexpected changes in claim trends on our workers’ compensation, unemployment, disability and medical benefit plans may negatively impact our financial condition.

We self-insure, or otherwise bear financial responsibility for, a significant portion of expected losses under our workers’ compensation program, disability and medical benefits claims. Unexpected changes in claim trends, including the severity and frequency of claims, actuarial estimates and medical cost inflation, could result in costs that are significantly different than initially reported. If future claims-related liabilities increase due to unforeseen circumstances, or if we must make unfavorable adjustments to accruals for prior accident years, our costs could increase significantly. In addition, unemployment insurance costs are dependent on benefit claims experience from employees which may vary from current levels and result in increased costs. There can be no assurance that we will be able to increase the fees charged to our customers in a timely manner and in a sufficient amount to cover increased costs as a result of any changes in claims-related liabilities.

Our business is subject to extensive government regulation, which may restrict the types of employment services we are permitted to offer or result in additional or increased taxes, including payroll taxes or other costs that reduce our revenues and earnings.

The temporary employment industry is heavily regulated in many of the countries in which we operate. Changes in laws or government regulations may result in prohibition or restriction of certain types of employment services we are permitted to offer or the imposition of new or additional benefit, licensing or tax requirements that could reduce our revenues and earnings. In particular, we are subject to state unemployment taxes in the U.S., which typically increase during periods of increased levels of unemployment. We also receive benefits, such as the work opportunity income tax credit in the U.S., that regularly expire and may not be reinstated. There can be no assurance that we will be able to increase the fees charged to our customers in a timely manner and in a sufficient amount to fully cover increased costs as a result of any changes in laws or government regulations. Any future changes in laws or government regulations, or interpretations thereof, including additional laws and regulations enacted at a local level may make it more difficult or expensive for us to provide staffing services and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Government litigation and regulatory activity relating to competition rules may limit how we structure and market our services.

As a leading staffing and recruiting company, we are closely scrutinized by government agencies under U.S. and foreign competition laws. An increasing number of governments are regulating competition law activities, leading to increased scrutiny. Some jurisdictions also allow competitors or consumers to assert claims of anti-competitive conduct.

The European Commission and its various competition authorities have targeted industry trade associations in which we participate. Any government regulatory actions may hamper our ability to provide the cost-effective benefits to consumers and businesses, reducing the attractiveness of our services and the revenue that come from them. New competition law actions could be initiated. The outcome of such actions, or steps taken to avoid them, could adversely affect us in a variety of ways, including:

We may have to choose between withdrawing certain services from certain geographies to avoid fines or designing and developing alternative versions of those services to comply with government rulings, which may entail a delay in a service delivery.

Adverse rulings may act as precedent in other competition law proceedings.

We may have additional tax or unclaimed property liabilities that exceed our estimates.

We are subject to a multitude of federal, state and local taxes in the jurisdictions we operate in, including the tax provisions of the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.  We are also subject to unclaimed or abandoned property (escheat) laws. Our tax expense could be materially impacted by changes in tax laws in these jurisdictions, changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities or changes in the mix of income by country. The demographics of our workforce and the visibility of our industry may make it more likely we become a target of government investigations, and we are regularly subject to audit by tax authorities. Although we believe our tax and unclaimed property estimates are reasonable, the final determination of audits and any related litigation could be materially different from our historical tax provisions and accruals. The results of an audit or litigation could materially harm our business.

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We may not be able to realize value from, or otherwise preserve and utilize, our tax credit and net operating loss carryforwards.

Provisions in U.S. and foreign tax law could limit the use of tax credit and net operating loss carryforwards in the event of an ownership change. In general, an ownership change occurs under U.S. tax law if there is a change in the corporation’s equity ownership that exceeds 50% over a rolling three-year period. If we experience an ownership change, inclusive of our Class A and Class B common stock, our tax credit and net operating loss carryforwards generated prior to the ownership change may be subject to annual limitations that could reduce, eliminate or defer the utilization. Such limitation could materially impact our financial condition and results of operations.

Failure to maintain specified financial covenants in our bank credit facilities, or credit market events beyond our control, could adversely restrict our financial and operating flexibility and subject us to other risks, including risk of loss of access to capital markets.

Our bank credit facilities contain covenants that require us to maintain specified financial ratios and satisfy other financial conditions. During 2019 we met all of the covenant requirements. Our ability to continue to meet these financial covenants, particularly with respect to interest coverage (see Debt footnote in the notes to our consolidated financial statements), may not be assured.  If we default under this or any other of these requirements, the lenders could declare all outstanding borrowings, accrued interest and fees to be due and payable or significantly increase the cost of the facility.  In these circumstances, there can be no assurance that we would have sufficient liquidity to repay or refinance this indebtedness at favorable rates or at all. Events beyond our control could result in the failure of one or more of our banks, reducing our access to liquidity and potentially resulting in reduced financial and operating flexibility.  If broader credit markets were to experience dislocation, our potential access to other funding sources would be limited.

Our controlling stockholder exercises voting control over our company and has the ability to elect or remove from office all of our directors.

The Terence E. Adderley Revocable Trust K (“Trust K”) which became irrevocable upon the death of Terence E. Adderley on October 9, 2018, is the controlling stockholder. In accordance with the provisions of Trust K, William U. Parfet, David M. Hempstead and Andrew H. Curoe were appointed as successor trustees of the trust. Mr. Parfet is the brother of Donald R. Parfet, the Chairman of the board of directors of the Company. The trustees, acting by majority vote, have sole investment and voting power over the shares of Class B common stock held by Trust K, which represent approximately 91.5% of the outstanding Class B shares. The voting rights of our Class B common stock are perpetual and our Class B common stock is not subject to transfer restrictions or mandatory conversion obligations under our certificate of incorporation or bylaws.

Our Class B common stock is the only class of our common stock entitled to voting rights. The trustees of Trust K are therefore able to exercise voting control with respect to all matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election or removal from office of all members of the Company’s board of directors.

We are not subject to certain of the listing standards that normally apply to companies whose shares are quoted on the NASDAQ Global Market.

Our Class A and Class B common stock are quoted on the NASDAQ Global Market. Under the listing standards of the NASDAQ Global Market, we are deemed to be a “controlled company” by virtue of the fact that Trust K has voting power with respect to more than fifty percent of our outstanding voting stock. A controlled company is not required to have a majority of its board of directors comprised of independent directors. Director nominees are not required to be selected or recommended for the board’s selection by a majority of independent directors or a nominations committee comprised solely of independent directors, nor do the NASDAQ Global Market listing standards require a controlled company to certify the adoption of a formal written charter or board resolution, as applicable, addressing the nominations process. A controlled company is also exempt from NASDAQ Global Market’s requirements regarding the determination of officer compensation by a majority of independent directors or a compensation committee comprised solely of independent directors. A controlled company is required to have an audit committee composed of at least three directors who are independent as defined under the rules of both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the NASDAQ Global Market. The NASDAQ Global Market further requires that all members of the audit committee have the ability to read and understand fundamental financial statements and that at least one member of the audit committee possess financial sophistication. The independent directors must also meet at least twice a year in meetings at which only they are present.

14


We currently comply with certain of the listing standards of the NASDAQ Global Market that do not apply to controlled companies. Our compliance is voluntary, however, and there can be no assurance that we will continue to comply with these standards in the future.

Provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and Delaware law may delay or prevent an acquisition of our company.

Our restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws contain provisions that could make it harder for a third party to acquire us without the consent of our board of directors. For example, if a potential acquirer were to make a hostile bid for us, the acquirer would not be able to call a special meeting of stockholders to remove our board of directors or act by written consent without a meeting. The acquirer would also be required to provide advance notice of its proposal to replace directors at any annual meeting, and would not be able to cumulate votes at a meeting, which would require the acquirer to hold more shares to gain representation on the board of directors than if cumulative voting were permitted.

Our board of directors also has the ability to issue additional shares of common stock which could significantly dilute the ownership of a hostile acquirer. In addition, Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law limits mergers and other business combination transactions involving 15 percent or greater stockholders of Delaware corporations unless certain board or stockholder approval requirements are satisfied. These provisions and other similar provisions make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us without negotiation.

Our board of directors could choose not to negotiate with an acquirer that it did not believe was in our strategic interests. If an acquirer is discouraged from offering to acquire us or prevented from successfully completing a hostile acquisition by these or other measures, our shareholders could lose the opportunity to sell their shares at a favorable price.

The holders of shares of our Class A common stock are not entitled to voting rights.

Under our certificate of incorporation, the holders of shares of our Class A common stock are not entitled to voting rights, except as otherwise required by Delaware law. As a result, Class A common stockholders do not have the right to vote for the election of directors or in connection with most other matters submitted for the vote of our stockholders, including mergers and certain other business combination transactions involving the Company.

Our stock price may be subject to significant volatility and could suffer a decline in value.

The market price of our common stock may be subject to significant volatility. We believe that many factors, including several which are beyond our control, have a significant effect on the market price of our common stock. These include:

actual or anticipated variations in our quarterly operating results;
announcements of new services by us or our competitors;
announcements relating to strategic relationships or acquisitions;
changes in financial estimates by securities analysts;
changes in general economic conditions;
actual or anticipated changes in laws and government regulations;
commencement of, or involvement in, litigation;
any major change in our board or management;
changes in industry trends or conditions; and
sales of significant amounts of our common stock or other securities in the market.

In addition, the stock market in general, and the NASDAQ Global Market in particular, have experienced significant price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of listed companies. These broad market and industry factors may seriously harm the market price of our common stock, regardless of our operating performance. In the past, securities class action litigation has often been instituted following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities. A securities class action suit against us could result in substantial costs, potential liabilities and the diversion of our management’s attention and resources. Further, our operating results may be below the expectations of securities analysts or investors. In such event, the price of our common stock may decline.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS.

None.

15


ITEM 2. PROPERTIES.

Our headquarters is located in Troy, Michigan, where corporate, subsidiary and divisional offices are currently located. The original headquarters building was purchased in 1977. Headquarters operations were expanded into additional buildings purchased in 1991, 1997 and 2001, providing approximately 345,000 square feet of combined usable floor space. As of December 29, 2019, three of our headquarters properties, totaling approximately 310,000 square feet, are held for sale, with the sale expected to take place in the first quarter of 2020. The main headquarters building included in the sale will be leased back.

Branch office business is conducted in leased premises with the majority of leases being fixed for terms of generally three to five years in the U.S. and Canada and five to ten years outside the U.S. and Canada. We own virtually all of the office furniture and the equipment used in our corporate headquarters and branch offices.

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.

The Company is continuously engaged in litigation, threatened ligation, or investigations arising in the ordinary course of its business, such as matters alleging employment discrimination, wage and hour violations, claims for indemnification or liability or violations of privacy rights, anti-competition regulations, breach of contract and claims or actions related to customer or supplier bankruptcy proceedings or insolvency actions, which could result in a material adverse outcome. We record accruals for loss contingencies when we believe it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of loss can be reasonably estimated. Such accruals are recorded in accounts payable and accrued liabilities and in accrued workers’ compensation and other claims in the consolidated balance sheet. The Company maintains insurance coverage which may cover certain claims. When claims exceed the applicable policy deductible and realization of recovery of the claim from existing insurance policies is deemed probable, the Company records receivables from the insurance company for the excess amount, which are included in prepaid expenses and other current assets in the consolidated balance sheet.

While the outcome of these matters cannot be predicted with certainty, we believe that the resolution of any such proceedings will not have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

We are also currently engaged in litigation with a customer over a disputed accounts receivable balance for services rendered, which is recorded as a long-term receivable in other assets in the consolidated balance sheet. While we believe the balance is collectible, there is a reasonably possible risk of an unfavorable outcome.

In January 2018, the Hungarian Competition Authority initiated proceedings against the Company, along with a local industry trade association and its members, due to alleged infringement of national competition regulations. We are fully cooperating with the investigation, and are supplying materials and information to comply with the Authority’s undertakings. The Company does not believe that resolution of this matter will have a material adverse effect upon the Company’s competitive position, results of operations, cash flows or financial position.

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES.

Not applicable.

16


PART II 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR THE REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES. 

Market Information and Dividends 

Our Class A and Class B common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbols “KELYA” and “KELYB,” respectively. The high and low selling prices for our Class A common stock and Class B common stock as quoted by the NASDAQ Global Market and the dividends paid on the common stock for each quarterly period in the last two fiscal years are reported in the table below. Our ability to pay dividends is subject to compliance with certain financial covenants contained in our debt facilities, as described in the Debt footnote in the notes to our consolidated financial statements. 
 Per share amounts (in dollars)
First
Quarter
Second
Quarter
Third
Quarter
Fourth
Quarter
Year
2019     
Class A common     
High$25.63  $26.39  $28.91  $25.09  $28.91  
Low20.00  22.03  23.50  20.74  20.00  
Class B common
High24.68  25.49  29.43  23.46  29.43  
Low20.91  25.49  23.59  20.66  20.66  
Dividends0.075  0.075  0.075  0.075  0.30  
2018     
Class A common     
High$30.99  $32.31  $26.57  $25.00  $32.31  
Low26.65  21.44  22.23  19.21  19.21  
Class B common     
High29.07  34.30  34.30  23.40  34.30  
Low27.00  22.00  21.50  22.01  21.50  
Dividends0.075  0.075  0.075  0.075  0.30  
 
Holders 

The number of holders of record of our Class A and Class B common stock were approximately 8,200 and 300, respectively, as of January 31, 2020. 

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities 

None.
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Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities 

During the fourth quarter of 2019, we reacquired shares of our Class A common stock as follows:
Period
Total Number
of Shares
(or Units)
Purchased
Average
Price Paid
per Share
(or Unit)
Total Number
of Shares (or
Units) Purchased
as Part of Publicly
Announced Plans
or Programs
Maximum Number
(or Approximate
Dollar Value) of
Shares (or Units)
That May Yet Be
Purchased Under the
Plans or Programs
    (in millions of dollars)
September 30, 2019 through November 3, 20195,578  $23.58  —  $—  
November 4, 2019 through December 1, 2019210  21.18  —  —  
December 2, 2019 through December 29, 2019—  —  —  —  
Total5,788  $23.49  —   
 
We may reacquire shares sold to cover employee tax withholdings due upon the vesting of restricted stock held by employees. Accordingly, 5,788 shares were reacquired during the Company’s fourth quarter.
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Performance Graph

The following graph compares the cumulative total return of our Class A common stock with that of the S&P SmallCap 600 Index and the S&P 1500 Human Resources and Employment Services Index for the five years ended December 31, 2019. The graph assumes an investment of $100 on December 31, 2014 and that all dividends were reinvested. 

COMPARISON OF FIVE YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN
Assumes Initial Investment of $100
December 31, 2014 – December 31, 2019
https://cdn.kscope.io/4bbf04e43a179778b825fc4315622ba6-kelya-20191229_g1.jpg

 201420152016201720182019
Kelly Services, Inc.$100.00  $96.05  $138.40  $166.88  $126.85  $141.59  
S&P SmallCap 600 Index$100.00  $98.03  $124.06  $140.48  $128.56  $157.85  
S&P 1500 Human Resources and Employment Services Index$100.00  $107.96  $118.15  $150.39  $125.92  $154.62  

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ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA.

The following table summarizes selected financial information of Kelly Services, Inc. and its subsidiaries for each of the most recent five fiscal years. This table should be read in conjunction with the other financial information, including “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report. The statement of earnings data for the 2016 and 2015 fiscal years as well as the balance sheet data as of 2017, 2016 and 2015 are derived from consolidated financial statements previously on file with the SEC. 

(In millions except per share amounts)2019201820172016
2015(1)
Revenue from services$5,355.6  $5,513.9  $5,374.4  $5,276.8  $5,518.2  
Gain on sale of assets (2)
12.3  —  —  —  —  
Asset impairment charge (3)
15.8  —  —  —  —  
Earnings from operations81.8  87.4  83.3  63.2  66.7  
Gain (loss) on investment in Persol Holdings (4)
35.8  (96.2) —  —  —  
Gain on investment in PersolKelly Asia Pacific (5)
—  —  —  87.2  —  
Net earnings 112.4  22.9  71.6  120.8  53.8  
Basic earnings per share2.85  0.59  1.84  3.10  1.39  
Diluted earnings per share2.84  0.58  1.81  3.08  1.39  
Dividends per share     
Classes A and B common0.30  0.30  0.30  0.275  0.20  
Working capital (6)
521.6  503.0  458.1  443.5  411.3  
Total assets2,480.6  2,314.4  2,378.2  2,028.1  1,939.6  
Total noncurrent liabilities332.0  257.4  300.5  245.0  228.4  

(1)Fiscal year included 53 weeks.

(2)Gain on sale of assets primarily represents the excess of the proceeds over the cost of an unused parcel of land located near the Company headquarters sold during the second quarter of 2019.

(3)Asset impairment charge represents the write-off of previously capitalized costs associated with a new U.S. front and middle office technology development project which management determined would not be completed but replaced by an enhanced and expanded use of an existing technology platform.

(4)Represents the change in fair value of the investment in the common stock of Persol Holdings.

(5)Represents the fair value of the Company's investment in PersolKelly Asia Pacific in addition to the cash received less the carrying value of assets transferred to the joint venture.

(6)Working capital is calculated as current assets minus current liabilities.


20


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.
Executive Overview

The Talent Solutions Industry

Labor markets are in the midst of change due to automation, secular shifts in labor supply and demand and skills gaps. Global demographic trends are reshaping and redefining the way in which companies find and use talent. In response, the talent solutions industry is adjusting how it sources, recruits, trains and places talent.

Our industry is evolving to meet businesses’ growing demand for talent, whether delivered as a single individual or as part of a total workforce solution. Companies in our industry are using novel sourcing approaches—including gig platforms, independent contractors and other talent pools—to create workforce solutions that are flexible, responsive to the labor market and tailored to meet clients’ needs.

In addition, today’s companies are elevating their commitment to talent, with the growing realization that meeting the changing needs and requirements of talent is essential to remain competitive. The ways in which people view, find and conduct work are undergoing fundamental shifts. And as the demand for skilled talent continues to climb, workers’ changing ideas about the integration of work into life are becoming more important. In this increasingly talent-driven market, a diverse set of workers, empowered by technology, is seeking to take greater control over their career trajectories.

Our Business

Kelly Services is a talent and global workforce solutions company serving customers of all sizes in a variety of industries. We offer innovative outsourcing and consulting services, as well as staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis. We provide commercial and professional/technical staffing through our branch networks in our Americas Staffing and International Staffing segments and, in APAC, we provide staffing solutions to customers through PersolKelly Asia Pacific, our joint venture with Persol Holdings, a leading provider of HR solutions in Japan. For the U.S. education market, Kelly Education is the leading provider of substitute teachers to more than 7,000 schools nationwide.

We also provide a suite of talent fulfillment and outcome-based solutions through our Global Talent Solutions (“GTS”) segment, which delivers integrated talent management solutions on a global basis. GTS provides Contingent Workforce Outsourcing ("CWO"), Recruitment Process Outsourcing ("RPO"), Business Process Outsourcing ("BPO"), Advisory and Talent Fulfillment solutions to help customers plan for, manage and execute their acquisition of contingent labor, full-time labor and free agents, and gain access to service providers and qualified talent quickly, at competitive rates, with minimized risk.

We earn revenues from customers that procure the services of our temporary employees on a time and materials basis, that use us to recruit permanent employees, and that rely on our talent advisory and outsourcing services. Our working capital requirements are primarily generated from temporary employee payroll and customer accounts receivable. The nature of our business is such that trade accounts receivable are our most significant asset. Average days sales outstanding varies within and outside the U.S. but was 58 days on a global basis as of the 2019 year end and 55 days as of the 2018 year end. Since receipts from customers generally lag temporary employee payroll, working capital requirements increase substantially in periods of growth.

Our Strategic Intent and Outlook

Kelly is committed to being a leading talent solutions provider among the talent with whom we choose to specialize and in the markets in which we choose to compete, which is the foundation of our strategy in 2019 and beyond. This strategic intent is underpinned by our Noble Purpose, “We connect people to work in ways that enrich their lives,” and is brought to life by our expected behaviors and actions:

Employ a talent-first mentality

Relentlessly deliver for customers

Grow through discipline and focus

Deliver efficiency and effectiveness in everything we do

21


By aligning ourselves with our Noble Purpose, executing against these strategic pillars and investing in additional innovation, we intend to reap the benefits of operating as a more agile and focused organization and we expect to achieve new levels of growth and profitability as we develop further specializations across our portfolio of businesses.

We have continued our progress as a talent solutions company and identified several specialty growth platforms for investment. We expanded our engineering portfolio with the January 2, 2019 acquisition of Global Technology Associates, LLC (“GTA”) and NextGen Global Resources LLC (“NextGen”), leaders in the growing 5G telecommunications market. These position Kelly as one of the leading engineering workforce solutions companies in this fast-growing market. On January 14, 2020, we acquired Insight Workforce Solutions LLC, an educational staffing company, to expand our leadership position in the U.S. education talent solutions industry. We intend to further accelerate our efforts to drive revenue and earnings growth through additional inorganic growth platforms, making smart acquisitions that align with Kelly's focus on specialization.

We continue to make investments in technology, particularly those which support greater efficiency in finding talent to answer customer needs. We are accelerating the implementation of our front office platforms, which, when fully deployed in mid-2020, will streamline the processes and workflows associated with recruiting, onboarding and reassigning workers. This investment will create the platform from which we will deploy additional operational improvements over the next several years that will enhance the experience of the hundreds of thousands of job seekers who interact and work with Kelly each year.

We completed a review of our commercial staffing operations delivered by our U.S. branch network in the first quarter of 2019 and reorganized our operations to improve geographic coverage and operational efficiency. The new structure will allow us to refine our focus on specialties within the commercial staffing portfolio, including light industrial, electronic assembly, office professionals and contact center staffing. During 2019, we recorded total restructuring charges of $5.5 million as a result of these actions. While we have already gained efficiency from the restructure, the growth we anticipated has not yet occurred. We remain committed to delivering revenue growth in our U.S. market and have initiated further actions to modernize our operations and deliver on that commitment.

While faced with market conditions that may hamper our efforts, including a sluggish manufacturing sector and a tight labor market, Kelly continues to focus on accelerating the execution of our strategic plan and making the necessary investments and adjustments to advance that strategy. Our objective is to become an even more agile, consultative and profitable company, and we are reshaping our business to make that goal a reality. We will measure our progress using financial measures, including:

Revenue growth (both organic and inorganic);

Gross profit rate improvement; and

Conversion rate and EBITDA margin.

22


Financial Measures

The constant currency (“CC”) change amounts in the following tables refer to the year-over-year percentage changes resulting from translating 2019 financial data into U.S. dollars using the same foreign currency exchange rates used to translate financial data for 2018. We believe that CC measurements are a useful measure, indicating the actual trends of our operations without distortion due to currency fluctuations. We use CC results when analyzing the performance of our segments and measuring our results against those of our competitors. Additionally, substantially all of our foreign subsidiaries derive revenues and incur cost of services and selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses within a single country and currency which, as a result, provides a natural hedge against currency risks in connection with their normal business operations.

CC measures are non-GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) measures and are used to supplement measures in accordance with GAAP. Our non-GAAP measures may be calculated differently from those provided by other companies, limiting their usefulness for comparison purposes. Non-GAAP measures should not be considered a substitute for, or superior to, measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.

Reported and CC percentage changes in the following tables were computed based on actual amounts in thousands of dollars.

Return on sales (earnings from operations divided by revenue from services) and conversion rate (earnings from operations divided by gross profit) in the following tables are ratios used to measure the Company’s operating efficiency.

Days sales outstanding (“DSO”) represents the number of days that sales remain unpaid for the period being reported. DSO is calculated by dividing average net sales per day (based on a rolling three-month period) into trade accounts receivable, net of allowances at the period end. Although secondary supplier revenues are recorded on a net basis (net of secondary supplier expense), secondary supplier revenue is included in the daily sales calculation in order to properly reflect the gross revenue amounts billed to the customer.
23


Results of Operations
2019 versus 2018
 
Total Company
(Dollars in millions except per share data)
 20192018ChangeCC
Change
Revenue from services$5,355.6  $5,513.9  (2.9) %(1.9)  
Gross profit968.4  972.2  (0.4) 0.5  
SG&A expenses excluding restructuring charges877.6  884.8  (0.8) 0.1  
Restructuring charges5.5  —  NM  NM  
Total SG&A expenses883.1  884.8  (0.2) 0.7  
Gain on sale of assets12.3  —  NM  
Asset impairment charge15.8  —  NM  
Earnings from operations81.8  87.4  (6.5)  
Earnings from operations excluding restructuring charges87.3  87.4  (0.2)  
Diluted earnings per share$2.84  $0.58  389.7  
Staffing fee-based income (included in revenue from services)60.1  68.6  (12.5) (10.6) 
Gross profit rate18.1  %17.6  %0.5  pts. 
Conversion rate8.4  9.0  (0.6)  
Conversion rate excluding restructuring charges9.0  9.0  —   
Return on sales1.5  1.6  (0.1)  
Return on sales excluding restructuring charges1.6  1.6  —  
 
Total Company revenue from services for 2019 declined 2.9% in comparison to the prior year and 1.9% on a CC basis. As noted in the following discussions, revenue decreases in Americas Staffing and International Staffing were partially offset by an increase in GTS revenue. Revenue from services for 2019 includes the results of NextGen and GTA acquisitions, which added approximately 250 basis points to the total revenue growth rate.

The gross profit rate increased by 50 basis points from the prior year. As noted in the following discussions, the gross profit rate increased in all segments. The NextGen and GTA acquisitions accounted for approximately 30 basis points of the gross profit rate growth.

Total SG&A expenses decreased 0.2% on a reported basis, due primarily to the effect of currency exchange rates. On a CC basis, SG&A expenses increased 0.7% due primarily to the addition of SG&A expenses from the NextGen and GTA acquisitions. Also included in SG&A expenses for 2019 are restructuring charges of $5.5 million, related primarily to the U.S. branch-based staffing operations.

Gain on sale of assets primarily represents the excess of the proceeds over the cost of an unused parcel of land located near the Company headquarters sold during the second quarter of 2019. Asset impairment charge represents the write-off of previously capitalized costs associated with a new U.S. front and middle office technology development project which management determined would not be completed but replaced by an enhanced and expanded use of an existing technology platform.

Diluted earnings per share for 2019 were $2.84, as compared to diluted earnings per share of $0.58 for 2018. Diluted earnings per share for 2019 were favorably impacted by a gain, net of tax, of approximately $0.63 per share related to the investment in Persol Holdings, a gain, net of tax, of approximately $0.23 per share related to the sale of assets and a gain, net of tax, of approximately $0.22 per share related to acquisitions. Diluted earnings per share for 2019 were unfavorably impacted by approximately $0.30 per share related to the asset impairment charge, net of tax, and approximately $0.10 per share related to restructuring charges, net of tax. Diluted earnings per share for 2018 were unfavorably impacted by a loss, net of tax, of approximately $1.69 per share related to the investment in Persol Holdings.
24


Americas Staffing
(Dollars in millions)
 20192018ChangeCC
Change
Revenue from services$2,320.1  $2,417.7  (4.0) %(3.8)  
Gross profit429.5  441.3  (2.7) (2.5) 
SG&A expenses excluding restructuring charges367.2  364.2  0.8  1.0  
Restructuring charges5.5  —  NM  NM  
Total SG&A expenses372.7  364.2  2.3  2.6  
Earnings from operations56.8  77.1  (26.3) 
Earnings from operations excluding restructuring charges62.3  77.1  (19.2)  
Gross profit rate18.5  %18.3  %0.2  pts. 
Conversion rate13.2  17.5  (4.3)  
Conversion rate excluding restructuring charges14.5  17.5  (3.0)  
Return on sales2.4  3.2  (0.8)  
Return on sales excluding restructuring charges2.7  3.2  (0.5)  

Americas Staffing includes the impact of the January 2019 NextGen acquisition. Excluding NextGen, Americas Staffing revenue from services reflects a 10% decrease in hours volume and a 2.1% increase in average bill rates (2.3% on a CC basis). The decrease in hours volume was primarily due to the disruption resulting from the restructure of the U.S. branch-based staffing in the first quarter of 2019 and slower achievement of the related benefits. The increase in average bill rates was the result of wage increases and stronger revenue growth in our service lines with higher pay rates. Americas Staffing represented 43% of total Company revenue in 2019 and 44% in 2018.

From a staffing specialty perspective, the change in revenue reflects decreases in volume in our light industrial and office services specialties. These decreases were partially offset by an increase in engineering (due primarily to the NextGen acquisition), educational staffing and science specialties.

The Americas Staffing gross profit rate increased in comparison to the prior year. The gross profit rate was positively impacted by the addition of NextGen.

Total SG&A expenses increased 2.3% from the prior year, due primarily to the addition of NextGen SG&A expenses during 2019. Also included in total SG&A expenses for 2019 are restructuring charges primarily related to U.S. branch-based staffing operations of $5.5 million, representing primarily severance costs.
25


GTS
(Dollars in millions)
 20192018ChangeCC
Change
Revenue from services$2,024.5  $1,997.4  1.4  %1.6   
Gross profit400.5  381.1  5.1  5.6  
Total SG&A expenses293.1  296.5  (1.2) (0.6) 
Earnings from operations107.4  84.6  26.9  
 
Gross profit rate19.8  %19.1  %0.7  pts. 
Conversion rate26.8  22.2  4.6   
Return on sales5.3  4.2  1.1  

Revenue from services increased 1.4% compared to last year, due primarily to the increase in revenue from the GTA acquisition, combined with program expansion in our BPO and KellyConnect products. These increases were partially offset by lower demand from a number of customers in centrally delivered staffing. GTS revenue represented 38% of total Company revenue in 2019 and 36% in 2018.

The increase in the GTS gross profit rate was due to improving product mix coupled with lower employee-related costs.

Total SG&A expenses decreased 1.2% from the prior year on a reported basis and 0.6% on a CC basis, due to proactive cost management in a growth environment, as we continue to align our resources and spending levels with volumes and gross profit in our products. These decreases were partially offset by an increase in SG&A expenses related to the January 2019 acquisition of GTA.
26


International Staffing
(Dollars in millions)
 20192018ChangeCC
Change
Revenue from services$1,025.9  $1,116.6  (8.1) %(4.0)  
Gross profit140.5  152.3  (7.7) (3.6) 
Total SG&A expenses125.3  132.3  (5.3) (1.2) 
Earnings from operations15.2  20.0  (24.1) 
Gross profit rate13.7  %13.6  %0.1  pts. 
Conversion rate10.8  13.2  (2.4)  
Return on sales1.5  1.8  (0.3)  

In comparison to the prior year, International Staffing revenue from services decreased 8.1% on a reported basis and 4.0% on a CC basis. The decline was primarily due to revenue declines in France and Germany, reflecting current staffing market conditions. These decreases were partially offset by increased revenue in Russia, due to higher hours volume. International Staffing represented 19% of total Company revenue in 2019 and 20% in 2018.

The International Staffing gross profit decreased 7.7% on a reported basis and 3.6% on a CC basis as a result of declining revenue.

Total SG&A expenses decreased 5.3% on a reported basis and 1.2% on a CC basis due to continued effective cost management to align to revenue trends.
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Results of Operations
2018 versus 2017

Total Company
(Dollars in millions except per share data)
 20182017ChangeCC
Change
Revenue from services$5,513.9  $5,374.4  2.6  %2.2   
Gross profit972.2  954.1  1.9  1.6  
SG&A expenses excluding restructuring charges884.8  868.4  1.9  1.6  
Restructuring charges—  2.4  NM  NM  
Total SG&A expenses884.8  870.8  1.6  1.4  
Earnings from operations87.4  83.3  5.0   
Earnings from operations excluding restructuring charges87.4  85.7  2.1   
Diluted earnings per share$0.58  $1.81  (68.0) 
Staffing fee-based income (included in revenue from services)68.6  57.3  19.6  19.0  
Gross profit rate17.6  %17.8  %(0.2) pts. 
Conversion rate9.0  8.7  0.3   
Conversion rate excluding restructuring charges9.0  9.0  —   
Return on sales1.6  1.5  0.1   
Return on sales excluding restructuring charges1.6  1.6  —  

Total Company revenue from services for 2018 was up 2.6% in comparison to 2017 on a reported basis, and up 2.2% on a CC basis, reflecting the weakening of the U.S. dollar against several currencies, primarily the Euro in the first half of 2018. As more fully described in the following discussions, revenue increased in Americas Staffing and International Staffing, while GTS revenue was relatively flat.

The gross profit rate decreased 20 basis points year over year. As more fully described in the following discussions, a decline in the gross profit rate in International Staffing was partially offset by an increase in the GTS gross profit rate. The Americas Staffing gross profit rate was unchanged.

Total SG&A expenses increased 1.6% on a reported basis (1.4% on a CC basis), due primarily to increases in Americas Staffing SG&A expenses, as described in the following discussion. Included in total SG&A expenses for 2017 are restructuring charges of $2.4 million, relating primarily to an initiative to optimize our GTS service delivery models.

Diluted earnings per share for 2018 were $0.58, as compared to $1.81 for 2017. Diluted earnings per share for 2018 were impacted by a loss, net of tax, of approximately $1.69 per share related to the investment in Persol Holdings. Diluted earnings per share for 2017 were impacted by approximately $0.35 per share related to the impact of revaluing net deferred tax assets as a result of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and approximately $0.04 per share related to restructuring charges.
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Americas Staffing
(Dollars in millions)
 20182017ChangeCC
Change
Revenue from services$2,417.7  $2,345.9  3.1  %3.4   
Gross profit441.3  429.1  2.9  3.1  
SG&A expenses excluding restructuring charges364.2  346.0  5.2  5.5  
Restructuring charges—  0.4  NM  NM  
Total SG&A expenses364.2  346.4  5.1  5.4  
Earnings from operations77.1  82.7  (6.7) 
Earnings from operations excluding restructuring charges77.1  83.1  (7.1)  
 
Gross profit rate18.3  %18.3  %—  pts. 
Conversion rate17.5  19.3  (1.8)  
Conversion rate excluding restructuring charges17.5  19.3  (1.8) 
Return on sales3.2  3.5  (0.3) 
Return on sales excluding restructuring charges3.2  3.5  (0.3) 

The change in Americas Staffing revenue from services reflects the impact of a 2% increase in average bill rates (a 3% increase on a CC basis), combined with the impact of the September 2017 acquisition of TOC, and partially offset by a 1% decrease in hours volume. The increase in average bill rates was the result of wage increases and stronger revenue growth in our service lines with higher pay rates. Americas Staffing represented 44% of total Company revenue in both 2018 and 2017.

From a product perspective, the increase in revenue reflects an increase in commercial, including light industrial and educational staffing (due primarily to the TOC acquisition) and professional/technical, including engineering, science and IT products. These increases were partially offset by a decrease in our commercial office services volume.

The Americas Staffing gross profit rate was unchanged from 2017. Increases related to higher staffing fee-based income and lower payroll taxes were offset by unfavorable customer mix.

The increase in total SG&A expenses was due primarily to higher costs for recruiting and sales resources and additional effort to attract and place candidates in the current talent environment, combined with SG&A expenses related to TOC.
29


GTS
(Dollars in millions)
 20182017ChangeCC
Change
Revenue from services$1,997.4  $1,998.9  (0.1) %(0.1)  
Gross profit381.1  373.7  2.0  1.8  
SG&A expenses excluding restructuring charges296.5  294.7  0.6  0.4  
Restructuring charges—  2.0  NM  NM  
Total SG&A expenses296.5  296.7  —  0.2  
Earnings from operations84.6  77.0  9.8   
Earnings from operations excluding restructuring charges84.6  79.0  7.1   
Gross profit rate19.1  %18.7  %0.4  pts. 
Conversion rate22.2  20.6  1.6   
Conversion rate excluding restructuring charges22.2  21.1  1.1   
Return on sales4.2  3.9  0.3   
Return on sales excluding restructuring charges4.2  4.0  0.2   

Revenue from services was flat in comparison to 2017. Lower demand in specific customers in centrally delivered staffing and PPO was offset by increased revenue in BPO, KellyConnect and CWO from program expansions and new customer wins in each product. GTS revenue represented 36% of total Company revenue in 2018 and 37% in 2017.

The increase in the GTS gross profit rate was due to improving product mix, partially offset by increases in employee-related healthcare costs.

Total SG&A expenses were flat in comparison to 2017. Increased headcount and costs related to new programs and expansion of programs in the CWO, BPO and KellyConnect practices were partially offset by lower salary costs in centrally delivered staffing and PPO. Additionally, the year-over-year change in total SG&A expenses was impacted by restructuring charges of $2.0 million in 2017, representing severance relating to an initiative to optimize our GTS service delivery models.
30


International Staffing
(Dollars in millions)
 20182017ChangeCC
Change
Revenue from services$1,116.6  $1,048.2  6.5  %4.0   
Gross profit152.3  153.7  (0.9) (3.2) 
Total SG&A expenses132.3  131.6  0.5  (1.4) 
Earnings from operations20.0  22.1  (9.5) 
Gross profit rate13.6  %14.7  %(1.1) pts. 
Conversion rate13.2  14.4  (1.2)  
Return on sales1.8  2.1  (0.3)  

The change in International Staffing revenue from services reflects primarily a 6% increase in average bill rates (a 3% increase on a CC basis), due to customer and country mix. Hours volume was flat in comparison to 2017. International Staffing represented 20% of total Company revenue in both 2018 and 2017.

The International Staffing gross profit rate decreased primarily due to unfavorable customer mix and the effect of French payroll tax adjustments. These decreases were partially offset by an increase in staffing fee-based income.

The increase in total SG&A expenses was due to the effect of currency exchange rates. On a constant currency basis, SG&A expenses decreased due to effective cost control in expenses across the region.
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Results of Operations
Financial Condition
 
Historically, we have financed our operations through cash generated by operating activities and access to credit markets. Our working capital requirements are primarily generated from temporary employee payroll and customer accounts receivable. Since receipts from customers generally lag payroll to temporary employees, working capital requirements increase substantially in periods of growth. Conversely, when economic activity slows, working capital requirements may substantially decrease. This may result in an increase in our operating cash flows; however, any such increase would not be sustainable in the event that an economic downturn continued for an extended period. As highlighted in the consolidated statements of cash flows, our liquidity and available capital resources are impacted by four key components: cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash, operating activities, investing activities and financing activities. 

Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash

Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash totaled $31.0 million at year-end 2019, compared to $40.1 million at year-end 2018. As further described below, during 2019, we generated $102.2 million of cash from operating activities, used $94.3 million of cash for investing activities and used $16.1 million of cash for financing activities.

Operating Activities

In 2019, we generated $102.2 million of net cash from operating activities, as compared to generating $61.4 million in 2018 and $70.8 million in 2017. The change from 2018 to 2019 was primarily driven by working capital changes. The change from 2017 to 2018 was primarily driven by working capital changes and an increase in performance-based compensation payments.

Trade accounts receivable totaled $1.3 billion at year-end 2019 and 2018. Global DSO for the fourth quarter was 58 days for 2019, compared to 55 days for 2018. The increase in DSO reflects both increasing pressure to extend payment terms from our large customers and the timing of customer payments at year end.

Our working capital position (total current assets less total current liabilities) was $521.6 million at year-end 2019, an increase of $18.6 million from year-end 2018. The current ratio (total current assets divided by total current liabilities) was 1.6 at year-end 2019 and 2018.

Investing Activities 

In 2019, we used $94.3 million of net cash for investing activities, compared to using $29.8 million in 2018 and using $61.0 million in 2017. Included in cash used for investing activities in 2019 is $50.8 million for the acquisition of NextGen in January 2019, net of cash received, $35.6 million for the acquisition of GTA in January 2019, net of cash received, and $4.4 million for loans to PersolKelly Asia Pacific to fund working capital requirements. These uses of cash were partially offset by proceeds of $13.8 million primarily from the sale of unused land during the second quarter of 2019.

Included in cash used for investing activities in 2018 is $7.0 million for loans to PersolKelly Asia Pacific to fund working capital requirements as a result of their sustained revenue growth and $5.0 million for an investment in equity securities relating to the Company’s investment in Business Talent Group, LLC, partially offset by $7.9 million for proceeds from company-owned life insurance. Included in cash used for investing activities in 2017 is $37.2 million for the acquisition of Teachers On Call, net of the cash received.

Capital expenditures, which totaled $20.0 million in 2019, $25.6 million in 2018 and $24.6 million in 2017, were primarily related to the Company’s technology programs in 2019 and primarily related to the Company's technology programs, IT infrastructure and headquarters building improvements in 2018 and 2017.

Financing Activities 

In 2019, we used $16.1 million of cash for financing activities, as compared to using $26.5 million in 2018 and using $3.4 million in 2017. Changes in net cash from financing activities were primarily related to dividend payments in 2019, 2018 and 2017. Dividends paid per common share were $0.30 in 2019, 2018 and 2017. Payments of dividends are restricted by the financial covenants contained in our debt facilities. Details of this restriction are contained in the Debt footnote in the notes to our consolidated financial statements. 
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Changes in net cash from financing activities are also impacted by short-term borrowing activities. Debt totaled $1.9 million at year-end 2019 and was $2.2 million at year-end 2018. Debt-to-total capital (total debt reported in the consolidated balance sheet divided by total debt plus stockholders’ equity) is a common ratio to measure the relative capital structure and leverage of the Company. Our ratio of debt-to-total capital was 0.1% at year-end 2019 and 0.2% at year-end 2018. 

In 2019, the net change in short-term borrowings was primarily due to payments on local lines of credit. In 2018, the net change in short-term borrowings was primarily due to payments on our revolving credit facility. In 2017, the net change in short-term borrowings was primarily due to borrowings on our revolving credit facility.

Contractual Obligations and Commercial Commitments 

Summarized below are our obligations and commitments to make future payments as of year-end 2019:
  Payment due by period
 Total
Less than
1 year
1-3 Years3-5 Years
More than
5 years
 (In millions of dollars)
Leases$74.4  $24.6  $33.6  $11.8  $4.4  
Short-term borrowings1.9  1.9  —