Thomson Reuters Corp on Wednesday reported a steeper-than-expected drop in fourth-quarter earnings, hurt by cutbacks at financial institutions in Europe and in emerging markets.
Chief Executive Officer Jim Smith said in a statement the external environment was tougher than anticipated at year-end, and the company forecast 2014 revenue would be flat, compared with 2013 results. Revenue, excluding divestitures and currency changes, increased 2 per cent to about $12.5-billion last year.
Thomson Reuters said fourth-quarter underlying operating profit dropped 50 per cent from a year ago, in part because of previously announced charges related to job cuts and other restructuring expenses. Excluding the charges, operating profit fell 5 per cent to $577-million in the fourth quarter.
Thomson Reuters’ business has been challenged in recent years as one of its main customer bases, financial institutions, pulled back on spending, slashing costs and headcount.
During the fourth quarter, Thomson Reuters cut 3,000 positions, or roughly 9 per cent of its workforce.
“While the external headwinds were stronger than anticipated at year-end, particularly in Europe and the emerging markets, I am pleased with the progress we continued to make inside the company and with our customers,” Smith said.
Thomson Reuters reported adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of 49 cents per share, below the average analyst estimate of 52 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue for the quarter rose 1 per cent to $3.265-billion, roughly in line with expectations.