Sitel Earnings Slide in 3Q

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Teleservices provider Sitel Corp.'s earnings fell during the third quarter, but the company said yesterday that its performance was in line with projections made following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Sitel's net income for the quarter was $1.1 million, or 2 cents per share, down from $3.7 million, or 5 cents per share, during the same period last year. Overall, when restructuring charges were factored in, Sitel lost $5.9 million, or 8 cents per share, in third-quarter 2001.

Revenue for the quarter was $173.8 million, down from $185.3 million last year. In a statement issued two weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, Sitel said it had expected to report third-quarter 2001 earnings of up to 2 cents per share before restructuring charges and revenue of $170 million to $175 million.

Sitel chairman/CEO Jim Lynch said the company met its third-quarter revenue and earnings outlook despite having its U.S. business reduced during the two days after Sept. 11 and continued effects on its customer-acquisition business for several days afterward.

However, the company continues to grow and recently announced new contracts, including a partnership to operate a 400-workstation call center in Panama for Cable & Wireless and an expanded contract with General Motors Credit Corp. for teleservices in Europe.

Sitel projected fourth-quarter 2001 revenue of $175 million to $180 million and earnings ranging from break-even to 2 cents per share.

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