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Manpower Earnings Down, But Well Equipped

Manpower Inc. has reported that net earnings for the three months ended December 31, 2008 decreased to $79.2 million from $133.1 million a year earlier. Revenues for the fourth quarter totaled $4.6 billion, a decrease of 18% from the year earlier period, or a decrease of 10% in constant currency.
Included in the fourth quarter results is $62.7 million ($36.9 million after tax,) of income related to a business tax refund and recoverable 2005 payroll taxes in France. Also included is a reorganization charge of $37.2 million ($27.2 million after tax), primarily related to office closures and consolidations, and severance costs in several countries. Net earnings in the fourth quarter were negatively impacted as foreign currencies were relatively weaker compared to the prior year period.

"During the fourth quarter, we experienced a rapid decline in demand for our services in the majority of the geographies we operate in," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, Manpower Inc. Chairman and CEO. "This was not unexpected, and we have positioned ourselves well for this environment. While we have taken action to reduce our expenses, we will not impact our workforce and office infrastructure in a way that would inhibit our ability to help our clients win.
"Despite the anticipated continued deterioration of the labor market in the near term, we remain confident that with the combination of our financial strength and flexibility, Manpower is well-equipped to take advantage of the opportunities this environment will uniquely present to us," Joerres added.

Net earnings were $218.9 million compared to $484.7 million in the prior year. Revenues for the year were $21.6 billion, an increase of 5% from the prior year, or an increase of 1% in constant currency.

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