Thomson Reuters quarterly revenue rises, lifts cash flow outlook

The Thomson Reuters logo is seen on the company building in Times Square, New York.
FILE PHOTO: The Thomson Reuters logo is seen on the company building in Times Square, New York, U.S., January 30, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

November 3, 2020

(Reuters) – Thomson Reuters Corp <TRI.TO><TRI.N> said its revenue rose in the third quarter on gains in its legal and corporates divisions, as cost cuts helped the news and information company raise its 2020 free cash flow outlook.

The company said Tuesday’s results gave it “increasing confidence” about its full-year financial forecast, but that the course of the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic could change this.

Thomson Reuters, which owns Reuters News, said in a statement that its quarterly revenue rose 2% to $1.44 billion, while its operating profit rose 21% to $318 million.

“I’m very pleased to report our markets and businesses continue to prove resilient in the face of a challenging broader macro-environment,” Chief Executive Steve Hasker said.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization surged 42% from a $100 million cost cutting program this year related to the pandemic and higher revenue, Thomson Reuters said.

“I’m confident we will continue to effectively manage through this challenging environment and build on this performance in 2021,” Hasker added in the statement.

Thomson Reuters’ adjusted earnings of 39 cents per share were ahead of the 38 cents analysts expected, according to IBES data from Refinitiv, while the company’s quarterly revenue was also slightly above Wall Street expectations.

The Legal Professionals, Tax & Accounting Professionals and Corporates divisions all had higher organic quarterly sales and adjusted profit, Thomson Reuters said.

The company said its results were boosted by strong sales from Practical Law, Westlaw Edge and its European and Canadian businesses and a revenue increase from the tax division after a U.S. tax filing deadline extension from April to July.

Organic revenues at the Reuters News division slipped 2%, reflecting a decline in the agency business and the ongoing impact of the coronavirus crisis on its events business.

Thomson Reuters reaffirmed its full-year guidance of revenue rising between 1% to 2% and increased its free cash flow forecast to about $1.1 billion, which was at the higher end of the previous outlook.

(Reporting by Kenneth Li; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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