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Manpower says revenue lower than expected

December 22 2008

Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN), one of the largest staffing firms, said today that revenue fell more than expected in the first two months of the fourth quarter. And the company said it will take a restructuring charge in the fourth quarter over employee cuts and office closures.

Manpower said it previously estimated a fourth-quarter revenue decline of between 9% and 11% (or 5% to 7% in constant currency). Revenue, however, fell by 20% year-over-year in October and November (11% in constant currency).

"We continue to see further weakening in demand for our services in most of our markets due to the deteriorating economic environment," Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Joerres said. "We anticipate that demand for our services will be especially weak in December as we are hearing that many of our light industrial clients are taking prolonged plant shut downs around the holidays compared to last year."

Last week, executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. (NASD: HSII) also reported difficult conditions and said it would trim its staff by 15%. In addition, Impellam Group PLC, a Luton, England-based staffing firm with operations in the U.S., said its headcount and cost base is "being actively managed to reflect the lower levels of activity."

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