Global news and information service Reuters, which spent a good portion of last year slashing costs, has seen pre-tax profits for 2001 plummet 34% to £304 million.

Revenues were actually up 8% over the year to £3.9 billion, but remained flat in the fourth quarter. The group expects underlying subscription revenues to fall by up to 3% in the first half of 2002, though operating margins are expected to improve to 12% this year from 7% in 2001.

Hit by the downturn in financial markets, Reuters is aiming to save up to £235m a year by 2003, to which end it has laid off around 1,600 staffers (8% of its workforce). Such measures saved it £65m in 2001, the group said.

Hailing the results as “resilient”, chief executive Tom Glocer continued: “We have continued to make good progress on the business transformation programme and are ahead of previously announced targets for cost savings.”

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff