Payroll and benefits outsourcing provider Paychex Inc said the troika of weak economic conditions, the ongoing credit crisis and low rates of investment returns prompted a 17-percent decline in first-quarter profits, to $123.6 million compared to the year-ago first quarter.

The company, headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., said that system-wide revenues dipped 6 percent, to $500.2 million.

Meanwhile, overall service revenue dropped 5 percent, to $486.5 million, while its core payroll unit, decreased 6 percent to $354.4 million versus the same period of one year ago.

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