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Thomson Reuters' CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Last week, we announced an agreement to sell our Healthcare business for $1.25 billion in cash. We expect to realize net after-tax proceeds of about $1 billion. The sale is not subject to financing conditions and we expect the deal to close on late Q2 or early Q3. We expect to use the proceeds for tactical acquisitions, organic investment and for share buybacks on an opportunistic basis.

Lastly but importantly, we are reaffirming our full year 2012 outlook.

Now let me return to our results by business segment. This slide reflects the new organization structure I outlined last quarter. Financial & Risk revenues rose 1% and now include the Governance, Risk & Compliance business. Good growth in marketplaces and GRC were offset by weakness in the trading and investor segments.

Revenues by geography saw Europe, Middle East and Africa rise 2%; the Americas were up 1%; and Asia was flat due to softness in Japan. Overall, Financial & Risk net sales performance in Q1 was slightly better than Q4, but it was still negative. A modest improvement in the Americas was largely offset by a difficult environment in Europe. As we've previously stated, we do not expect net sales to turn positive until the end of the year, and, therefore, it's important to look at the momentum and run rate trend as we exit 2012. We are targeting a gradual improvement in net sales over the course of the year, driven by service improvements, new product rollouts, including Eikon.

Tax & Accounting had a terrific quarter, with revenues up 31%, 9% organic. Growth was strong across the business. IP & Science revenues grew 4%. Legal had a good start to the year across the board, with revenues up 3%, 2% organic in what appears to be a slightly better legal market environment. We are particularly encouraged by the sales performance in our Legal and Tax & Accounting units, which were slightly ahead of our expectations.

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