Reuters Upbeat on Revenue Recovery

By: (AP) Reuters Group PLC said today it expects sales to fall by around 1.5 percent in its first quarter, a much smaller decline than the 8.4 percent drop that the news and financial data provider saw in the January-March period last year.

Although subscriber cancellations exceeded new sales in the fourth quarter, net cancellations showed a considerable improvement compared to the equivalent quarter in 2003 -- reflecting an emphasis on upgrading its products and service, the London-based company said.

"I am pleased that our steady progress toward positive revenues remains on track," said Reuters Chief Executive Tom Glocer.

The company has struggled to increase sales against fierce competition from Bloomberg LP and Thomson Financial. Meanwhile, mergers and consolidations in the banking industry have reduced demand for its financial products among banks.

In July, Reuters announced net profit for the six months to June 30 of 286 million pounds thanks to stricter controls on costs and the disposal of some assets. But it also reported an 11 percent drop in sales, which it blamed on the weakness of the U.S. dollar.

Reuters shares rose 2.6 percent to 391.5 pence ($7.40) on morning trading on the London Stock Exchange.


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