Ailing news and information titan Reuters on Tuesday posted its first annual loss since becoming a publicly quoted company - at an eyewatering £394 million ($628.29m; €586.53m), the largest in its century and a half of trading.

Hit by a worldwide downturn in financial trading conditions, Reuters’ revenues in the year to December 2002 fell 8% to £3.57 billion, triggering operational losses of £144m versus profits of £302m in 2001.

The loss was incurred despite a five-year programme of cost and job cutting, implemented in October 2001, which has already sliced ten per cent from the group’s global workforce. A further 3,000 jobs are expected to disappear over the next three years, trimming worldwide staff levels to 13,000.

Chief executive Tom Glocer warned that the global situation had deteriorated further in the current fiscal, and predicted a decline of 9% in recurring revenues during Q1, worsening “somewhat higher” in Q2.

Despite this unpromising start, Glocer believes that by focussing on Reuters’ core strengths as an information provider, the group will protect and grow market share, differentiate itself from rivals and boost profitability.

Data sourced from: Multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff