SON Reuters’ fourth-quarter profits plummeted 68 per cent amid tough trading conditions.
Profits were down to just $182m (£118m). Excluding costs related to the merger with Thomson, profits declined 16 per cent to $661m. Revenue was down one per cent to $3.36bn. Results for the year saw revenue remain steady on 2008 figures while underlying profit margins grew 21.3 per cent. The provider of information for businesses and professionals said revenue declines will persist in early 2010 but expects sales to pick up in the second half of the year as market conditions improve.
Reuters chief executive Thomas Glocer said: “Despite the worst global operating environment any of us has faced, Reuters was able to hold or improve on our prior-year results, with revenues comparable to 2008 and underlying operating margin and free cash flow up on the prior year.
He added: “I am also pleased that our net sales performance improved significantly through the
year, with the fourth quarter recording positive net sales for the company as a whole. We are off to a strong start in sales in 2010 with the launch of the innovative WestlawNext in Legal, and positive net sales in Markets.”
Glocer continued: “I am confident that 2009 was the bottom of the sales cycle for us and that 2010 will see the corresponding bottom in period-on-period reported revenues. I expect that we will return to revenue growth in the second half of 2010.”