Thomson Reuters results

More results today – this time from Thomson Reuters.

On the surface they are fairly similar in trends to those of Reed Elsevier that I covered last week – pressure on headline revenues, significant cost cutting and highlighting the ‘late cycle’ nature of the business. However, when I listened to the results presentation this afternoon I came away with a very different perception of the business.

Whilst it is obviously a much larger business that Reed Elsevier, Tom Glocer and his team gave a very measured performance on their call. Their message was similar with the same period last year. There was stability and a consistent strategy of product investment for growth in the medium term.

Some of the things they highlighted were:

  • WestLawNext – Tom said that results were coming through well and that WestLaw had achieved it’s best sales in the last quarter since Q4 2007. He said that in a period of market difficulties that it was great for sales teams to have something new to sell. Since it launched earlier this year he claimed that 400 new sales had been secured in the first month and that he was confident of a significant uplift in market share.
  • Transition from print to online – In what sounded like a bit of dig at the competition Tom said that they had been slower than organisations like LexisNexis in transitioning products from print to online. He inferred that LexisNexis had made a mistake in abandoning print aggressively and early. He said that Thomson Reuters had ‘managed the transition without the chasms of profit drop out’ and that there were elements of their portfolio that remained better suited to print.
  • Utah – Thomson Reuters’ new standardised desktop platform was another example of the company’s investment. It was running a bit behind schedule but currently ‘in alpha’.

Overall, I took away  a lot more confidence in Thomson Reuters’ strategy than I did from the Reed Elsevier call last week. They obviously still have a lot of market pressures on various parts of their business but the positioning of the company for growth in 2011,2012 and beyond sounded believable and robust.

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