Concrete Inc. Cuts Back Staff by 30 %

New York-based Web development firm Concrete Inc. acknowledged on Monday that it had fallen victim to the troubling market forces plaguing other companies in the space, saying it laid off 30 to 35 people, or 30 percent of its workforce.

The closely-held company said it had been profitable through its four years in business, until the third quarter of last year. That’s when the April market downturn and the death of many dot-coms began to take their toll on Internet professional services and advertising-related companies. Meanwhile, traditional marketers were taking longer to make decisions about their online strategies, failing to be the rescuer that development companies had hoped for.

“We have always, enviably, been a profitable company up through the second quarter of last year,” said Paul Donaher, chief marketing officer for Concrete. “In the third quarter, we weren’t profitable for the same reasons that some of our competitors weren’t profitable.”

Those competitors — including Agency.com, Razorfish, Sapient, Viant, and iXL — have laid off hundreds of workers, in a bid to compensate for the slowdown and, in many cases, to rush toward profitability before they run out of funds.

Monday’s layoffs didn’t target any particular department or job function, cutting instead across all divisions at the company, which also has offices in Los Angeles.

“There wasn’t one single criterion that we looked at,” said Donaher. “We’re still dedicated to being a very reputable professional services firm, and if we’re not profitable it makes it harder for us to do that.”

Concrete, formerly known as Concrete Media, claims clients such as the Princeton Review, Bertelsmann A.G., Avon, Bechtel, and Screaming Media.

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