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Thomson Reuters reports Q4 loss

Reuters owner Thomson Reuters reported a loss of $175 million or 36 cents per share in its 2021 fourth quarter due to lower operating profit and a drop in value of the company's stake in London Stock Exchange.

The loss compared with $562 million profit or $1.13 per diluted share a year ago.


Revenue was $1.71 billion, up from $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020 and surpassing Wall Street forecasts. Full-year profit was $5.69 billion, or $11.50 per share and annual revenue $6.35 billion.


Chief executive Steve Hasker (photo) said the company was in a strong position to tap into trends emerging in the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.


"Customers (are) increasingly realizing the value of our content and tools in a hybrid working world that’s affected by accelerating complexity," he said in an email to staff.


Thomson Reuters is mid-way through a two-year $600 million investment into a "Change Program" to transform itself from a holding company of different businesses to a more focused, content-driven technology company.


"We'll continue to look at acquisitions to supplement our existing assets to help drive organic growth in 2022 and 2023," chief financial officer Michael Eastwood told Reuters in an interview, adding the company had "billions" in capacity.


In its outlook for 2022, the company said it expects total revenue growth of about five per cent and between 5.5 and 6.0 per cent for 2023.


The company said it will pay a quarterly dividend of 44.5 cents per share, up from 40.5 cents.


Reuters News showed double-digit increases in both sales and adjusted earnings before interest and other items (EBITDA). Reuters makes more than half its revenue from supplying news to Refinitiv, the data company spun off from Thomson Reuters and now owned by the London Stock Exchange. Thomson Reuters holds a minority stake in LSE following the deal, worth about $7 billion as of Monday, the company said.


Thomson Reuters shares traded in Toronto were down 5 per cent on news of the loss. ■

Thomson Reuters