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First-quarter net income rose 9.0% at MPS Group Inc. (NYSE: MPS) to $19.1 million from $17.5 million in the same period last year. Management said the current economic downturn does not look like the recession earlier in this decade.
"In early 2001, there was a sharp drop in demand for professional and IT staffing services combined with large-scale employee layoffs by our clients," said CEO Timothy Payne. "The current environment does not seem to indicate that we are headed that way. While hiring conditions at present may not be as robust as they were in the 2004-2006 time frame, there are plenty of positions out there for us to fill."
First-quarter revenue rose 11.3% to $567.8 million from $510.1 million in the first quarter of 2007 at the Jacksonville FL-based staffing company. Excluding acquisitions and foreign currency exchange, revenue rose 6%. MPS said it completed its integration of the Ensemble Chimes Global vendor management system that it acquired out of bankruptcy proceedings in the first quarter.
MPS' gross margin improved to 28.6% from 27.4%.
The company said revenue rose 10.0% in its North American professional services segment to $179.7 million. In its Special Counsel legal staffing division, part of its professional services segment, revenue rose 35% year-over-year.
Revenue in its North American information technology segment, which includes its Beeline VMS, increased 7.0% year-over-year in the first quarter to $158.9 million.
MPS estimated second-quarter revenue of between $560 million and $580 million, an increase of 4.6% to 8.4% over the second quarter of 2007.
MPS Group Inc. (NYSE: MPS)
For the first quarter ended March 31, 2008, compared with the same period in 2007.
Revenue: $567.8 million, +11.3%
Net income: $19.1 million, +9.0%