Reuters CEO Tom Glocer has struck a cautious note on future prospects, despite reporting an improved set of interim third quarter figures.
In a conference call, Glocer told analysts the company was operating in a "less favourable" market environment than at the beginning of the year.
"We are confident in what we're doing internally to head towards growth," he said. "But we don't have control over what the markets do - if they turn down we may not achieve our targets."
Glocer's comments came as the company reported recurring core revenue of £528 million for the third quarter, down 4.4% on an underlying basis from a year ago, but ahead of its own forecast for a five per cent fall.
Shares in Reuters gained 7.1% to 346.25 pence in mid-morning trading on news that gross sales outpaced cancellations during the quarter for the first time since Q1 2001. Near-term, Reuters is also forecasting a three per cent decline in underlying fourth quarter revenue, an improvement on analysts' estimates of a four per cent dip.
Glocer declined to give an update on guidance into 2005.
He also had no comment on ongoing speculation that an acquisition of Telerate is imminent.
"There are no material M&A developments that would warrant discussions today," Glocer said.