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TrueBlue revenue falls 17% organically

October 16 2008

TrueBlue Inc. (NYSE: TBI), the industrial staffing giant, said third-quarter revenue slipped 1% year over year to $387.9 million, but would have fallen 17% without the effects of acquisitions in the past year.

"As a result of the weak economy, demand for our services declined across most of the markets we serve, and we responded by accelerating plans to close branches and implementing other cost controls," said CEO Steve Cooper.

Tacoma WA-based TrueBlue said it closed 32 branches so far this year, and plans to close at least 17 more.

Meanwhile, same-store sales began falling more quickly during the third quarter.

"As we ended the second quarter, our same branch revenue trends were declining at about 13%," Cooper told analysts in a conference call. "As the quarter progressed, revenue trend deteriorated and by the end of the third quarter, same store sales were declining at almost a 17% rate."

Third-quarter gross margin fell to 29.7% from 32.1%.

Net income dropped 28% to $16.3 million in the third quarter from $22.7 million in the same period last year.

TrueBlue estimates revenue will also decline in the fourth quarter.

"We expect revenue in the range of $325 million to $335 million," said CFO Derrek Gafford. "This represents growth from acquisitions completed within the last 12 months of 14% and a decline in organic revenue of about 21% resulting in a decrease in total revenue for Q4 this year of about 7% compared to the same quarter last year."

TrueBlue Inc. (NYSE: TBI)
For the third quarter ended Sept. 26, 2008, compared with the same period in 2007.
Revenue: $387.9 million, -1%
Net income: $16.3 million, -28%

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