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Randstad Holding NV, the world's second-largest staffing firm, said fourth-quarter North American revenue fell 20.7%, or 13% excluding the effects of currency exchange, to euro375.0 million (US$537.5 million) from fourth-quarter 2008 revenue of euro472.9 million.
The Netherlands-based company said it noted in November -- for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2006 -- growth in its general U.S. temporary and direct-hire staffing segment and its U.S. on-site (inhouse) staffing services segment.
Randstad said the U.S. businesses recovered first, followed by its staffing and inhouse businesses in the U.K. and some other European countries such as Germany, France and Poland. The company said its professional staffing business started to stabilize in the third quarter and is recovering more slowly.
Total fourth-quarter revenue at Randstad fell 18.6% on a pro forma basis to euro3.18 billion (US$4.56 billion) from euro3.91 billion in the same period last year.
"Our markets have stabilized and classical recovery patterns are visible," said CEO Ben Noteboom. "If recovery continues we should do very well."
Randstad reported revenue on a pro forma basis, treating its acquisition of Vedior NV in the middle of 2008 as if both companies had been fully combined throughout both 2008 and 2009. (However, fourth-quarter North American pro forma revenue is the same as actual revenue.) Randstad presents net income solely on an actual basis.
Fourth-quarter pro forma gross margin narrowed to 19.1% from 21.0% in the year-ago quarter.
Randstad posted fourth-quarter net income of euro47.7 million (US$68.4 million) compared with a net loss of euro231.4 million in the same period last year.
Full-year 2009 pro forma revenue fell 27.0% to euro12.40 billion (US$17.77 billion) from euro16.99 billion in 2008.
Pro forma gross margin narrowed to 19.5% in 2009 from 20.8% in 2008.
Randstad reported 2009 net income of euro67.6 million (US$96.9 million) compared with net income of euro18.4 million in 2008.
Randstad Holding NV
For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2009, compared with the same period in the previous year. The revenue number is on a pro forma basis as if Randstad and Vedior had been fully combined throughout both periods.
Revenue: euro3.18 billion (US$4.56 billion), -19%
Net income: euro47.7 million (US$68.4 million) vs. net loss of euro231.4 million
For the full year ended Dec. 31, 2009, compared with the previous year. The revenue number is on a pro forma basis as if Randstad and Vedior had been fully combined throughout both periods.
Revenue: euro12.40 billion (US$17.77 billion), -27%
Net income: euro67.6 million (US$96.9 million), +267%