Fourth-quarter earnings fell to $79.2 million, or $1.01 per share, from $133.1 million, or $1.63 per share, in the same quarter a year before.
"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, the 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.
The company's results also included a gain of 47 cents per share related to a business tax refund and recoverable 2005 payroll taxes in France. The results also reflected an after-tax reorganization charge of 35 cents per share due to office closures and consolidations, as well as severance costs.
The company also cited a negative imapct of 10 cents per share due to the impact of weaker foreign currencies.
Revenue dropped 18.5% to $4.59 billion from $5.63 billion.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters forecast fourth-quarter earnings of 81 cents per share on revenue of $4.72 billion, but that usually doesn't take one-time gains into account.
For all of 2008,earnings were 218.9 million, or $2.75 per share, down from $484.7 million, or $5.73 per share, in 2007.
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