Thomson Reuters Q4 profit tumbles; firm claims to have hit sales 'bottom'

Thomson Reuters Q4 profit tumbles; firm claims to have hit sales 'bottom'

Thomson Reuters fourth quarter profits fell 68%, to $182 million, on the back of weak sales, particularly at the firm's recession-hit markets unit.

For the quarter, revenue was down one per cent to $3.6 billion, with the markets division seeing a five per cent fall. Operating profit was $346 million, down 45% from $633 million in Q4 2008.

Diluted earnings per share was down 69% at 21 cents with adjusted earnings per share at 44 cents compared to 50 cents in 2008 and included integration-related costs of 17 cents per share.

For the year, revenues were up 11%, to $13 billion with diluted earnings per share down 40% to $1.01. Underlying operating profit margin increased 40 basis points to 21.3% on integration savings, cost management and currency benefits.

For 2010, the firm expects revenues to be flat to slightly down with net sales strengthening throughout the year.

Describing 2009 as "the worst global operating environment any of us has faced". Thomas Glocer, CEO, Thomson Reuters, adds: "Given our improving sales figures, 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."

The company increased its quarterly dividend by one cent to 29 cents.

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