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April 17, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:12pm

REUTERS WARNS OF NO GROWTH IN THE FIRST HALF

By CBR Staff Writer

Giving a snapshot of its fiscal first quarter figures, Reuters Holdings Plc yesterday announced that the strength of sterling had cut first quarter revenue by 2% to 699m pounds, and chief executive Peter Job said that if the pound remained at current levels, Reuters expected to announce little or no growth in reported pre-tax profit and earnings at the half-year stage. That was enough to send the shares reeling, and they ended seven pence down on the day at 585 pence, well below the session high of 597 pence – Traders will see headlines like ‘No profits growth in first half’ and mark down the prices, one analyst told the subject’s news wire. But he added that the market should not be surprised at the profit warning and that growth could be recorded in the second half which will mean overall growth for the whole year. Job added that the business is performing much as we expected. We mainly invoice in local currency all over the world so sterling exchange rate movements are not having any impact on unit sales, he said. He saw the company making steady progress towards its year-end target for its new 3000 range of financial information products and said newer lines – risk management software, business information sales to corporations were also performing steadily. Chairman Sir Christopher Hogg told shareholders at the annual meeting that the impact of exchange rates does not affect the fundamental business. Reuters would like to proceed with a share buy-back to reward shareholders but that UK government restrictions were holding it back, he said. Oliver Ehrenburg, telecommunications analyst at Robert Fleming, said the overall figures were as expected but elements were disappointing. Growth at Instinet, for example, which grew at 42% last year is now growing at 9% whereas people were expecting 15%, he pointed out.

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