Reuters operating profits rise ahead of merger

Reuters has announced improved profits in its final year as a standalone company, despite spending £45m preparing for its merger with Canadian financial information company Thomson.

The global news agency’s operating profits were up 14 per cent to £292m in its full year results announced this morning. Revenue for 2007 was £2.6bn, a rise of 1.5 per cent in real terms.

Revenue from Reuters’ media division was £172m in 2007, an underlying increase of six per cent, with trading profit up by £16m, a like-for-like rise of ten per cent.

Trading profit margins had been forecast at 13 to 14 per cent for 2007, but in today’s results it was 14.8 per cent, up from 12 per cent in 2006.

Asia was Reuters’ fastest-growing region with seven per cent revenue growth – including double-digit growth in China and India.

Reuters chief executive Tom Glocer said: ‘Reuters has delivered a signature final year as a standalone company.

“We set ourselves ambitious goals for 2007, did not waiver from these, and despite significant integration activities and a volatile market we have exceeded all our targets.”

Glocer will lead the new Thomson-Reuters company when it is officially formed in April, following clearance from American and European competition authorities last month.

Shareholders’ meetings will be held at both companies on 26 March and the deal is expected to be finally rubber-stamped on 17 April, creating a company which will be one of the world’s largest employers of financial journalists.

Reuters’ audited accounts for 2007 are due to be published on 1 May.

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