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Global - Revenue flat at Robert Half but international operations continue to suffer

24 April 2013

Robert Half International (RHI:NYQ) reported revenues and earnings for the first quarter ended 31 March 2013 on Tuesday evening.

Revenue was flat at $1.02 billion compared to the same quarter last year. The Company was successful in improving gross profit up +2% to $410.3 million and operating profit up +12% to $89.5 million though most of the improvement in profitability came from risk consulting and internal audit services.

While revenue grew by +4% in the US, the Company’s international revenues declined sharply; temporary and consultant staffing revenues were down by -8% while permanent placement dipped -13% (both on a same billing days, constant currency basis). Robert Half has staffing and consulting operations in more than 400 locations worldwide and approximately 25% of its revenue is derived from outside the US.

Harold M. Messmer, Jr., chairman and CEO said: “We were pleased with the company’s overall performance in the first quarter. Demand for our professional services remained strongest in the United States, most notably in our permanent placement, information technology staffing and Protiviti operations. Despite softness in international markets, this is the 12th consecutive quarter in which both net income and earnings per share have grown 15% or more on a year-over-year basis.”

Revenue performance (upon a same billing day, constant currency basis) varied across the Company’s various divisions. The Accountemps staffing segment was flat, office staffing staffing grew +3%, IT staffing grew +7%, while higher-end accounting and finance staffing was flat.

Robert Half operates through a number of specialised staffing divisions include Accountemps, Robert Half Finance & Accounting and Robert Half Management Resources, for temporary, full-time and senior-level project professionals, respectively, in the fields of accounting and finance; OfficeTeam, for highly skilled temporary administrative support personnel; Robert Half Technology, for information technology professionals; Robert Half Legal, for legal personnel; and The Creative Group for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals.

Looking ahead, the Company guided that second quarter revenue would decline but that they were expecting some modest margin improvement. As the financial results were published after the New York Stock Exchange closed last night, the share price will not react to the Company’s performance until later today.  

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