Draconian cost-cutting has propelled global news and financial data giant Reuters back into the black for this year’s first half, posting pre-tax profits of £87 million ($139.3m; €122.73m) for the six months to June 30.

This unexpected performance surge reversed last year’s loss of £10m and bettered analysts’ expectations by over 100% (their ill-focused crystal balls predicted £42m).

But – a disturbing omen – H1 subscription renewals fell by 10% to £1.2bn. A worrying trend given that subscriptions account for some 93% of group revenues.

Reuters now expects core subscriptions to fall by 11% this year. But there may be light at the end of the tunnel with two major new contracts (investment banks Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers) won during the past six months, suggesting that a recovery in spending could be in prospect.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff