Thomson Reuters Q3 earnings fall but financial unit shows signs of life

Thomson Reuters Q3 earnings fall but financial unit shows signs of life

Thomson Reuters has posted a fall in third quarter revenues and profits but says it sees signs of improvement at its financial and risk unit and is stepping up cost saving efforts.

Revenues for the three months were $3.1 billion, down three per cent on the same period the previous year. Operating profit was $316 million, down 15% and diluted earnings per share were down 38% to 33 cents.

The company's core financial and risk business, which has long struggled during the global economic slump, recorded a one per cent decline in revenues thanks to weakness in transaction volumes and falling financial desktop revenues caused by negative net sales over the last year.

However, in a rare bright spot for the unit net sales were positive in the third quarter for the first time in over two years, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year improvement. There are also signs that things are picking up for the flagship Eikon desktops, with 100,000 now installed.

Meanwhile, the cost saving drive at the financial and risk division, which will see headcount reduced by 4500 by the end of 2014 compared to 2012, is to be accelerated. Thomson Reuters says it now plans to record a charge of around $350 million, primarily incurred next quarter, in relation to this.

James Smith, CEO, Thomson Reuters, says: "Though we continue to expect challenging conditions in the coming quarters - particularly with the largest global banks - these are significant steps in returning our financial business to a growth footing."

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