Reuters To Cut Jobs Next Year

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(AP) More job cuts are ahead at Reuters Group PLC, this time in its news divisions.

Editor-in-chief Geert Linnebank has been examining budgets for 2003 and “knows he will be making some cuts in editorial,” Reuters spokeswoman Yvonne Diaz said Thursday.

“We’re really in the early stages of the budget process, and it’s too early to know how many cuts are going to be made and exactly where,” she said. “He’ll be looking to cut some services, which will lead to some job cuts.”

Linnebank told staff in a memo that some cuts were coming, she added. The company expected to have a clearer idea of where and how big the cuts would be by the end of the year, Diaz said.

Diaz said a Financial Times report that 20% of Reuters’ editorial jobs could go was incorrect.

Reuters, which currently employs about 18,000 people worldwide, has shed 1,000 jobs so far this year as part of a campaign to streamline operations and reduce costs. Since beginning the cost-cutting effort in June of last year, Reuters has cut jobs throughout its business and mainly in non-editorial departments, Diaz said. Reuters expects to trim an additional non-editorial 250 jobs by the end of December.

In July, Reuters posted its first loss since it became a publicly listed company in 1984, and said business remained challenging. The company reported a net loss of $131 million, for the six months to June 30, compared to a net profit of $423 million for the same period a year ago. One analyst said then that the loss stemmed mainly from restructuring costs.

The company expects its restructuring plan to save it $523 million in 2003.

In afternoon trading on the Nasdaq Stock market, U.S. shares of Reuters fell 41 cents to $19.79.

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