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Randstad's 2008 Results

Randstad has announced its 2008 results showing turnover of 14.038 billion up 53%. EBITA was up 16% to 644.0 million and the Net Income of 18.4 million was down 95%.

The key points: Rapidly adjusting costs in difficult market continued strong cash generation
with free cash flow of 673 million in 2008 ( 328 million in 2007)
*The integration of Randstad and Vedior, creating the worlds 2nd largest HR services provider, is progressing well.
*Pro forma1 revenue amounted to 17.2 billion (pro forma organic growth2 amounted to -2%).
*Pro forma EBITA3 margin remained strong at 4.9% (vs. 5.1%), pro forma EBITA reached 834 million (-8%).
*Net profit amounted to 18 million including a Vedior-related non-cash goodwill impairment of 500 million.
*Adjusted4 net income attributable to ordinary shareholders increased by 18% to 478 million.
*Given difficult and very uncertain markets it is proposed to strengthen the balance sheet and not to pay dividend
Key points Q4 2008.
*Revenue decline accelerated the organic decline amounted to 14% in Q4 2008 and 18% in December 2008.
*Quick costs adjustment operating expenses amounted to 641 million (-9% yoy and -4% vs. last quarter).
*Pro forma EBITA amounted to 178 million (-32%) the EBITA margin reached 4.5% versus 5.7% in Q4 2007
*Solid cash generation net debt improved by 248 million to 1.6 billion, leverage ratio improved to 1.7

From an operational point of view, progress in 2008 has been excellent. Our integration process is well on track, says Ben Noteboom, CEO Randstad Holding. However, having grown in the first half of 2008, the unprecedented fall in demand in Q4 2008 and January 2009 reflects the major economic difficulties our clients currently face. It is good to see governments and regulators acting to protect major industrial sectors, and associated employment. However, the effects will only be visible in the longer term. Meanwhile we have taken the required measures to adjust our cost base although we regret to let valuable people go. We are ready to take more measures if required, whilst ensuring to remain present in any markets with long-term potential. While current volume is down, the long-term prospects in our business are sound. Our people are focusing on what they can control: excellent service to our clients and candidates. We have all the ingredients to emerge from the current downturn stronger than ever.


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