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World – Robert Half Up in North America but International Suffers

30 January 2013

California-based staffing firm Robert Half International (RHI:NYQ) said on Tuesday that revenue in the fourth quarter 2012 rose by +6.2% to $1.03 billion from $973.5 million a year earlier, driven by both temporary and permanent recruitment.

Gross profit in the period increased by +7.5% to $416.4 million. The gross margin rose to 40.3% from 39.8%. Net income, attributable to shareholders, jumped by +38.7% to $58.3 million from $42.0 million a year ago.   

“We were pleased with the fourth-quarter financial results for the company,” said Harold M. Messmer, Jr., chairman and CEO of Robert Half International.

“Global operating income was up 35% as a result of continued gross-margin expansion; lower selling, general and administrative expense ratios; and a solid fourth quarter for Protiviti.” Proviti specialises in business consulting and internal audit and reported an increase in revenue of +9.7% to $120.0 million.

Mr Messmer added: “This is the 11th consecutive quarter in which net income and earnings per share have grown 20% or more on a year-over-year basis.”

However, it was the company’s North American operations which drove this growth. International operations saw a year-on year decline in revenue (in constant currency) of -4%. This is a deterioration from Q3 2012 where international revenue (in constant currency) declined by -1% compared to the same period in the prior year. The company has not disclosed which international markets have suffered most.

Robert Half, among the ten largest staffing firms in the world, is best known for its Accounttemps division which saw revenue rise to $379.2 million, a year-on-year increase of +4.2%. The second-largest division, Office Team, increased revenue by +6.3% to $208.4 million. The firm’s Technology business drove revenue by +6.4% to $120.2 million.

As of last trade on Tuesday, the company’s share price was down -1% to $33.53, a +20.8% increase from a year ago and 2.04% below its 52-week high of $34.23 seen in January 2013. The firm has a market value of $4.72 billion. 

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