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NORTH CANTON, Ohio — Despite a 2008 fourth quarter that saw a decline in sales from 2007's numbers, Diebold Inc. reported a slight increase in full-year profit compared to 2007.

Diebold reported fourth-quarter sales of $823 million, a 6 percent drop from $880 million fourth-quarter sales in 2007. 

For the year, Diebold earned $93.4 million, on sales of $3.2 billion, up from 2007 income of $39 million, on sales of $2.9 billion.

The company used several cost-cutting measures in 2008, including plans to reduce its global workforce by 800 full-time positions, or about 5 percent of its overall workforce.

"During the year, we met or exceeded our targets in the areas of improved supply chain, manufacturing efficiency, quality and cost-reduction initiatives. Our company achieved the highest year-end non-GAAP earnings from continuing operations and free cash flow in its 150-year history, largely as a result of our significant improvement in profitability, continued growth in key international geographies, progress in our cost-savings efforts, and improvement in our already strong customer loyalty scores," said Thomas W. Swidarski, Diebold president and chief executive officer.

"As we look ahead, we believe the global economy will remain extremely challenging throughout 2009. While we're obviously concerned about this negative environment, Diebold is in a unique position to deliver value. The solutions we provide enable customers to reduce costs and improve efficiency, and market demand for financial self-service solutions remains relatively stable. Additionally, more than half of our revenue comes from services - much of which is recurring in nature. Finally, we have developed the infrastructure and expertise to continually focus on improving operational efficiency and reducing costs."

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