Thomson Reuters merger savings ahead of schedule

Newly merged global news group Thomson Reuters has said its work on integrating the two companies is ahead of schedule and has saved more than £350m so far.

The company, formed last year from the merger of Canadian news provider Thomson and London-based Reuters, said the cost savings that arose provided a ‘self-help lever’that would help the group weather the economic downturn.

Chief executive Tom Glocer told investors in a conference call this afternoon: ‘Professional businesses are not immune to the economic cycle, but we have a range of self-help levers to pull.

‘We’re aggressively moving forward with the integration. The integration plan is ahead of target.”

He later added: ‘We feel very positive about how this business has held up in the most wrenching period I’ve seen in 15 years.”

On a like-for-like basis, revenues in the third quarter of 2008 rose eight per cent to $3.3bn (£2.2bn) and operating profit grew by 17 per cent to $676m (£445m).

Glocer added: ‘Our business continued to perform well in the third quarter and our integration plan began to deliver accelerated early savings.

‘Our revenue growth rates continue to lead our markets and, coupled with integration savings and cost discipline, will help drive continuing profit growth.”

Thomson Reuters said it had achieved $550m (£363m) in savings from its integration programme, which has cost $237m (£156m) to implement.

Reuters Media, the division that includes Reuters News, saw a five per cent rise in like-for-like revenues in the third quarter, at $111m (£73m).

The group said it was confident that it would still meet its targets for the end of the year, with full-year revenue expected to grow eight per cent year on year.

Thomson Reuters is due to report its full-year results on 24 February next year.

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