In its first set of results as a merged group, financial information vendor Thomson Reuters says its markets division - which houses Reuters' financial markets businesses as well as the Thomson Financial unit - reported a 69% rise in operating profit for the first quarter.
The vendor's markets division is made up of four legacy Reuters businesses - sales and trading, investment and advisory, enterprise and media - along with the Thomson Financial unit.
Pro forma operating profit at the markets division rose 69% to $353 million in the first quarter, while revenue was up 11%.
Actual Q1 revenue at the sales and trading unit in the first quarter was $876 million, an increase of nine per cent over the prior year, with seven per cent organic growth. Thomson Reuters says a key driver of organic growth was usage revenue, which increased 22%. The vendor says growth in the Reuters premium desktop product 3000 Xtra was also strong.
However sales of Trader desktops were down 11% organically, although this is an improvement on the year ago period when sales of the product fell 21%. Thomson Reuters says the improvement was partly due to "revenue attrition from Telerate migrations as well as strong growth in next generation Trader products".
At its investment and advisory unit (formerly research and asset management), revenue was $214 million, an increase of 27%, of which 20% was organic growth. Revenue from wealth management grew seven per cent organically, mainly due to demand for online feeds and Web-based systems, as well as growth in Lipper funds' information revenue.
Thomson Reuters says its enterprise division reported an 18% rise in revenue to $239 million, with strong sales across the product range, including pricing and reference data and data feed products.
First quarter revenue was also up at Thomson Financial, which reported a seven per cent rise in actual revenue to $565 million. Organic revenue growth was driven by strong performance across multiple customer segments, says Thomson Reuters. Continued good growth in Europe and Asia also contributed to the increase. Operating profit increased 16% to $110 million.
Thomson Reuters, which consummated the merger on 17 April, says overall pro forma group revenues rose 15% to $3.254 billion in the first quarter ending 31 March 2008. Pro forma underlying operating profit grew 37% to $579 million.
Looking ahead, the group says it expects to report pro forma combined revenue growth of six to eight per cent this year.
Tom Glocer, Thomson Reuters CEO, says the combined first quarter results and guidance for the full year "reflect the robustness of our business, even in turbulent markets".
He says Thomson Reuters is well-positioned to capitalise on the growing demand for "intelligent information" that can be used by "human beings and machines".
"As an enlarged global business, Thomson Reuters will now also benefit from the value created by more diversified revenue streams, a larger capital base and synergies resulting from the combination of our businesses," he adds. See Thomson Reuters share price data here