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Robert Half revenue falls 32.8%

April 23 2009

Robert Half International Inc.'s (NYSE: RHI) first-quarter revenue fell 32.8% year-over-year to $823.3 million amid a difficult economy and pressure on bill rates. First-quarter revenue fell in all the Menlo Park CA-based company's reported divisions with Accountemps, Robert Half's largest division, posting a 29.5% decline in revenue to $329.4 million.

The Robert Half Finance & Accounting division, which specializes in direct hire, posted the largest year-over-year decrease in revenue, dropping 56.8% to $49.9 million. In other divisions, OfficeTeam revenue fell 33.8%, Robert Half Technology revenues fell 24.7%, Robert Half Management Resources revenue fell 32.9% and Protiviti revenue fell 29.1%.

Robert Half's gross margin decreased to 35.7% from 41.7%.

First-quarter bill rates were down 2.4% year-over-year, CFO Keith Waddell said in a conference call with analysts.

"It's probably the most competitive pricing environment we've ever seen," Waddell said "Not so much just because our competitors are trying to undercut us, but it's every company, large and small feels some sense of entitlement that because of the economic conditions, they're entitled to a price discount. So clearly, we've had clients come back to us in a way they never have before, even the smaller ones to say, 'hey, times are tough, it's tough out there. We need a 10%, we need a 15%, we need a price reduction for same services, for same hours, et cetera.'"

Net income dropped 87.6% to $8.8 million from $70.8 million in the first quarter of 2007.

The company estimated second-quarter revenue at between $730 million and $780 million, down 36.3% to 40.4% year-over-year.

Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI)

For the first quarter ended March 31, 2009, compared with the same period in the previous year.

Revenue: $823.3 million, -32.8%

Net income: $8.8 million, -87.6%

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