Thomson Reuters reshapes corporate structure for post-pandemic world

Thomson Reuters Corp announced an increase in sales and operating profits and said it would reshape its business structure for a post-pandemic world, closing offices, streamlining technology and stepping up. relying more on artificial intelligence and machines.

The news and information group said it would invest $500 million to $600 million over two years to transition from a content provider to a content-focused technology company to serve increasingly working customers. home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It aims to reduce annual operating expenses by $600 million through eliminating duplicate functions and consolidating technology, as well as attrition and reducing its real estate footprint. The cost cuts do not involve layoffs and divestiture programs, the company said.

“We’re looking at changing behaviors in the wake of COVID… about work-from-home professionals working remotely being far more reliant on 24/7, always-on digital information, some kind of ‘always available real-time information, served through software and powered by AI and ML (machine learning),’ Chief Executive Steve Hasker said in an interview.

Sales growth is expected to accelerate in each of the next three years, compared to 1.3% reported sales growth for 2020, the company said in its earnings release.

Thomson Reuters, owner of Reuters News, said revenue rose 2% to $1.62 billion, while operating profit jumped more than 300% to $956 million, reflecting the sale of an investment and other elements.

Its three main divisions, Legal Professionals, Tax & Accounting Professionals and Corporates, all posted higher organic quarterly sales and adjusted profit.

Adjusted earnings per share of 54 cents were better than the 46 cents expected, based on Refinitiv data.

The company increased its annual dividend by 10 cents to $1.62 per share.

The Reuters News business saw lower revenue in the fourth quarter. In January, Stephen J. Adler, editor of Reuters for the past decade, said he would retire in April from the world’s largest international news provider.

Thomson Reuters also said its stake in the London Stock Exchange was now worth around $11.2 billion.

The LSE last month completed its $27 billion buyout of the data and analytics business Refinitiv, which is 45% owned by Thomson Reuters.

(Writing by Nick Zieminski in New York, editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman)

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