Tacoma-based temporary labor provider TrueBlue Inc. today reported modest gains in revenues and profits despite a difficult economic environment in this year’s third quarter, but the company forecast declining revenues and income in the fourth.
TrueBlue Chief Executive Officer Steve Cooper said those fourth quarter declines will be prompted by the winding down of a major Boeing project and a dip in the demand for temporary workers in the manufacturing sector.
Reductions in those two areas in the third quarter were responsible for the company missing it’s revenue forecasts, he said.
The company reported third quarter revenues of $379 million compared with $371 million in the same quarter of 2011. That’s a 2 percent increase over the third quarter revenues in the third quarter of 2011.
Profits totaled $14.3 million versus $13.9 million in last year’s third quarter. That amounts to a 2.9 percent improvement over the same quarter in 2011.
On a per share basis income was 36 cents per diluted share in the quarter just past compared with33 cents per diluted share for the third quarter of 2011.
“TrueBlue achieved revenue and earnings per share growth this quarter, while managing through an increasingly difficult economic environment,” TrueBlue Chief Executive Officer Steve Cooper said. “Demand for labor in manufacturing has declined and growth trends softened across most of the other industries we serve. Our results have also been adversely impacted by the anticipated decline of a large customer project.
The company predicted a decline in revenues and income in the fourth quarter.
“TrueBlue estimates revenue in the range of $332 million to $342 million and net income per diluted share of 11 cents to 16 cents for the fourth quarter.
“We remain optimistic about our specialized approach to vertical markets and believe our strategies remain on track to deliver long-term growth for our shareholders,” Cooper said.
TrueBlue’s chief executive said the company is working hard to lower costs as revenues fall.
TrueBlue is embarking on an ambitious effort to centralize more functions including recruiting and paying its temporary workers. If that consolidation is successful, TrueBlue may begin reducing the number of neighborhood offices, he said.
One bright spot in the temporary labor market, said company executives, is the alternate energy market where temporary workers are employed in installing solar panels or erecting wind turbines.
The construction business has been spotty with remodeling projects creating some demand while new construction has still to regain its pre-recession vigor.
TrueBlue provides labor to companies in the retail, wholesale, manufacturing, transportation, aviation, construction and service industries through the following brands:Labor Ready, Spartan Staffing, CLP Resources, PlaneTechs, and Centerline.