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Robert Half revenue falls 18.9%

January 29 2009

Fourth-quarter revenue fell 18.9% at Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI) to $989.8 million from $1.22 billion in the fourth quarter of the previous year.

"Our financial results were impacted in North America and across the globe by very difficult labor markets, which weakened as the quarter progressed," said Chairman and CEO Harold Messmer, Jr.

The company reported fourth-quarter revenue fell in all its divisions. Robert Half Finance & Accounting, which handles direct hire, posted the biggest drop — down 35.7% to $75.6 million. Robert Half Technology fell the least; it was down only 8.6% to $101.4 million.

Robert Half's Accountemps division, the company's largest, posted a 17.4% revenue decline to $374.2 million.

OfficeTeam revenue fell 19.0%, Robert Half Management Resources revenue fell 18.5% and revenue at Protiviti fell 17.8%.

Fourth-quarter gross margin for the company as a whole narrowed to 40.7% from 42.9%.

Net income declined 50.5% to $39.0 million.

The company said in a conference call it ended the year with 10,300 full-time employees with its staffing divisions down 15% from last year.

For full-year 2008, revenue fell 1.0% to $4.60 billion from 2007 revenue of $4.65 billion. Net income decreased 15.5% to $250.2 million.

Full-year 2008 gross margin was 41.6%, down from 42.6% in 2007.

The company also forecast a tough first quarter. In a conference call with analysts, the company estimated first-quarter 2009 revenue of between $840 million and $890 million, down 27.4% to 31.5% from the first quarter of 2008.

Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI)
For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008, compared with the same period in 2007.
Revenue: $989.8 million, -18.9%
Net income: $39.0 million, -50.5%

For the 2008 fiscal year ended Dec. 31, compared with the previous year.
Revenue: $4.60 billion, -1.0%
Net income: $250.2 million, -15.5%

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