Staff at Reuters are bracing for a fresh round of job cuts as the news and information group continues to strip out costs and refocus its business to combat falling sales.
Market rumours suggest that Reuters is preparing to lay off 1000 staff when it presents its annual results next month. The company is reportedly looking for a near 10% reduction in costs to offset a seven to nine per cent drop in annual sales.
Reuters' CEO Tom Glocer has promised to move out of underperforming technology-heavy business areas and concentrate on the provision of premium market data and content as the company bids to beat off competition from rivals Bloomberg and Thomson Financial.
As part of this, Glocer is talking up the success of Reuters Messaging, the instant messaging service launched in the third quarter of last year in association with Microsoft. He says Reuters has signed up 225,000 financial professionals for the service, significantly exceeding year-end sales targets of 175,000 users and overtaking Bloomberg Mail for market penetration.
Says Glocer: "Our priorities now are to continue to expand the user base, promote usage among specific communities and provide enhanced collaboration and other tools."
The product has been rolled out worldwide, and claims 100,000 European users, 80,000 subscribers in the US, and 32,000 takers from established and emerging markets in South East Asia.