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World – Monster pulls out of overseas markets, reports losses

08 February 2013

Recruitment company Monster Worldwide (MWW:NYQ) saw shares plunge on Thursday after the firm reported a fourth-quarter loss and pulled out of overseas markets. The firm said it was pursuing “strategic alternatives”. It indicated a possible sale of the company was challenging but the firm will react quickly should an opportunity arise.

The firm said it was going to focus on its most profitable markets in Europe, North America, South Korea and India. As part of the firm’s restructuring process, it shut down operations in Brazil, Mexico and Turkey. The firm also sold off its money-losing China business to Dublin-based recruitment firm Saongroup.

Economic conditions and weak job markets have impacted the firm’s balance sheet. In the three months to December, revenue fell -10% to $211.2 million. The firm posted an operating loss of $1 million and a net loss of $73.0 million in the quarter, compared to a net profit of $10.9 million a year earlier. This includes a $68 million loss related to discontinued operations.

Monster CEO, Sal Iannuzzi, said the firm has taken action to improve profitability. “As a leaner, more focused company, we are concentrating our resources on our core markets and are aggressively taking the steps necessary to strengthen our business,” he said.

In an analyst call on Thursday, he added the economic situation was not getting worse in Europe while the US was seeing “tentative” signs of recovery.

The firm set a new 52-week low in Thursday’s trading session when shares fell as much as -14% and reached a low of $5.01.

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