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Europe — Robert Half Q1 results lower than expected

28 April 2010

Robert Half International Inc. (RHI:NYQ), the specialised staffing and risk consulting services firm, has published results for the first quarter of 2010 ended 31 March.

The results were lower-than-expected by financial analysts, as the company was impacted by lower margins at two of its business segments. Net service revenues were down from $823.3 million in Q1 2009 to $737.1 million in Q1 2010. Gross margin fell from $293.7 million in Q1 2009 to $268.1 million in Q1 2010. Net income fell from $8.78 million in Q1 2009 to $8.47 million in Q1 2010.

Harold M. Messmer, Jr., chairman and CEO of Robert Half International, said "we are beginning to see improvement in the demand for our professional staffing services as a result of better economic conditions in North America and abroad."

"First quarter revenues for our staffing operations were up 2% on a constant currency basis from the results we reported for the fourth quarter."

Messmer added "our permanent placement operations performed particularly well during the quarter, growing 9% on a constant-currency basis versus the fourth quarter of 2009. We believe this relates directly to the depth and severity of personnel cuts made during the recession. Many businesses have had to hire at the first sign of a pickup in demand as well as immediately replace workers lost due to turnover."

The company does not disclose results on a geographical basis but, in Europe, Robert Half International has staffing and consulting operations in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

The company forecast second-quarter earnings below market expectations. After publication of the results Robert Half's shares closed down by -1.54% to $31.40 but fell -10% to $28.50 in after hours trading.



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