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  1. ando51 Senior Member

    UK, English
    Hello all,
    This comes from a redundancy letter to an employee on economic grounds. The letters says that "le résultat est en chute très significative sur les trois derniers exercices". I realise this refers to the company's income, but I'm not sure whether it's turnover, profit or something else. Grateful for any suggestions!
     
  2. Micia93

    Micia93 Senior Member

    in the center of France
    FRANCE FRENCH
    Hello!

    it's profit to me ! but can you provide some more context?
     
  3. ando51 Senior Member

    UK, English
    Thanks don't think it can be profit (although I realise I mentioned it in my first post!)as the company has recorded losses. Have gone for earnings at the moment. Does that sound possible?
    Le résultat est malheureusement en chute très significative sur les trois derniers exercices, en raison de multiples difficultés que nous rencontrons avec nos produits, qui nécessitent d’importantes prestations de maintenance, mettant à mal, dans le contexte de récession actuelle, notre modèle économique.

    Ainsi, pour l’exercice 2010, la Société a enregistré une perte à hauteur de xxx euros. En 2011, cette perte s’est accentuée pour atteindre - xxx euros.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  4. Micia93

    Micia93 Senior Member

    in the center of France
    FRANCE FRENCH
    Yes, I know what you mean, but this is confusing. What I wanted to say is that "le resultat" refers to "le profit" which can be negative or not
    is it any clearer?
     
  5. petit1 Senior Member

    français - France
    Could it be the balance sheet ?
     
  6. Wordsmyth

    Wordsmyth Senior Member

    Location: Mostly SW France
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Not a balance sheet, petit1; that's something else. I'd say we're talking here about the bottom line of a profit and loss statement.

    Micia's reference to profit being 'negative or not' reminds me of announcements made by certain US companies in the eighties that they had made a 'negative profit', in order to avoid saying they had made a loss. I had never heard the expression before that, and it caused quite a few smiles. However in normal usage, "profit" is positive, "loss" is negative; ("We made a profit this year"; "We made a loss this year").

    I'm not sure "earnings" works here. The letter suggests that the problem might lie on the cost side (increased maintenance).

    An appropriate term might be "returns", though in this context I think I'd go for "financial results".

    Ws:)
     
  7. Jean-Michel Carrère Senior Member

    French from France
    As you wrote in your first post, résultat means income, which can be positive (profit) or negative (loss).
     
  8. Wordsmyth

    Wordsmyth Senior Member

    Location: Mostly SW France
    Native language: English (BrE)
    The problem with "résultat" is that I've seen it used for income/earnings (revenu) and also for profit (bénéfice)(= income minus expenditure), in different contexts.

    In this context, I don't think it refers to pure income, since there's mention of "prestations de maintenance" (a cost). At the very least, if you wanted to use the word income, it would have to be "net income".

    I still think that for a redundancy letter the precise financial terms aren't very pertinent (and could even lead to complications if misused), and that "résultat" could be translated by a broader term such as "financial results".

    Ws
    :)
     
  9. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    I was going to say exactly the same thing. This phrase "bottom line" avoids words like "profit" or "loss" which suggest positivity or negativity. I don't think it means "income" as you can have lots of income but if your expenses are higher then it's still bad news.

    Edit - I think this shows we are talking about profit/loss (ie the bottom line) rather than income: qui nécessitent d’importantes prestations de maintenance.

    Maintenance costs wouldn't affect sales (=income), they would be a cost which would reduce the value of the sales and give a lower profit or indeed a loss.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  10. Uncle Bob Senior Member

    Hungary
    British English
    Would one use "bottom line" in a redundancy letter? It depends on whether the ex-employee is likely to be familiar with business-speak.
     
  11. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    It's a fair point. The trouble is that I can't think of something else that fits so well with the neutrality of the French "résultat". An obvious answer would be something like "losses continue to increase" (or similar) but no business would actually use the word "loss" in such a context for PR reasons (even if it's true they are making a loss). Perhaps the best thing is "profitability" (even if they are not in profit). Profitability continues to decline significantly...
     
  12. Wordsmyth

    Wordsmyth Senior Member

    Location: Mostly SW France
    Native language: English (BrE)
    What's your feeling about my suggestion of "financial results", Tim?

    Otherwise, I agree that "profitability" could work. Since it refers to a potential for making profit, it covers all the factors that can affect that potential, whether the result is positive or negative.

    Ws:)
     
  13. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Yes, financial result is ok I think given the context (where all they really want to convey is "we're not doing well"). In a more formal context I think it would be potentially confusing as we already have all the existing terms in financial language, so someone with financial knowledge might wonder what exactly was being meant by "financial results" (income or profit, again).
     
  14. Wordsmyth

    Wordsmyth Senior Member

    Location: Mostly SW France
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Absolutely agree. As usual, context is everything.

    Ws:)
     
  15. ando51 Senior Member

    UK, English
    Very interesting points from everyone, agree it's a good idea to go for something more general in this context.
     

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