Reuters Rolls Out Growth Plan

The big financial news and trading firm wants to return capital to shareholders.
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Reuters

(RTRSY)

said continuing operations profit fell by more than half in the first six months of 2005, but the company pledged further cost-cutting and said it sees underlying revenue growth for the first time in four years.

Reuters also said it would try a new growth plan and buy back stock. The company said it aims to return a billion pounds' worth of capital to shareholders through measures including the buyback and the pending sale of

Instinet

(INGP)

The London-based financial trading and news operation said it made 119 million pounds from continuing operations for the first six months, down from 280 million pounds a year ago. Revenue slipped to 1.14 billion pounds from 1.17 billion pounds a year earlier.

But the company, which has been undergoing a wrenching restructuring, emphasized the positive in the first half. Reuters said recurring revenue rose 0.4% from a year ago to 547 million pounds, and net sales were positive in every month of the first half. The company forecast underlying revenue growth of 1%-2% for the second half and raised its cost savings estimate from the Fast Forward restructuring plan to 360 million pounds a year from 340 million.

"It is a huge step forward for Reuters to see our most closely watched revenue measure -- underlying recurring revenue -- back in positive territory in Q2," said CEO Tom Glocer. "With Fast Forward nearly complete, Reuters is healthier, more resilient and poised to deliver stronger revenue growth. I am looking forward to building on those strong foundations as we move beyond Fast Forward."