Reuters Posts Profit for First Half

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(AP) Financial news and information provider Reuters Group PLC on Tuesday announced a return to profit in the first half of the year, despite falling revenue.

The group reported a profit of 4 million pounds ($6.4 million) after taxes for the six months ending June 30, compared to a net loss of 73 million pounds for the same period in 2002.

Revenue during the first half of the year fell to 1.6 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) from 1.8 billion pounds in 2002.

Reuters CEO Tom Glocer said he would go ahead with the 3,000 job cuts announced in February but had no further cuts to add.

“I’m happy with the progress we’re making,” he told British Broadcasting Corp. radio. “I won’t be fully happy until I’ve got the entire company turned around, but we’re well on track.”

Reuters posted a six-month pretax operating profit of 87 million pounds ($139.2 million), excluding costs for the disposal of subsidiaries and other charges. Last year, the group reported an adjusted pretax loss of 10 million pounds.

Glocer said Reuters would have to wait for global stock markets to pick up before it could make a more general recovery.

“In the meantime what we’re doing is controlling the things we know we can control and improving our position competitively. We are continuing the job cuts that we previously announced, but nothing to add there.”

The company also announced it had signed investment bank Lehman Brothers for its new Reuters Knowledge service, an information and analytics service for investment bankers and research analysts. The service was introduced just this month and Lehman is Reuters’ first client for it.

Glocer also defended his compensation, which Reuters reported as totaling 1.7 million pounds ($2.7 million), including a salary of 816,000 pounds ($1.3 million), and a bonus of 612,000 pounds ($980,000), in 2002.

“I run the company and I get paid a fair wage to do it. Somebody else is going to have to decide whether you want to tolerate an unequal distribution of wealth between top managers and staff,” he told the BBC. “It’s obviously unequal today in that I make more than most of the other employees at Reuters.”

Reuters U.S. shares were down 77 cents, or 3.7%, to $20.12 in morning trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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