World crisis will hurt us, Tom Glocer says
Thursday 2 October 2008
Thomson Reuters reaffirmed its full-year outlook on Thursday but Tom Glocer said the world financial crisis will hurt the company as banks lose staff and take out trading and information terminals.
“You’ve got to say this is a negative short to middle term,” the CEO told analysts at a London investor day. But he said the banking consolidation now beginning represents a long-term opportunity.
“There’s a lot of compensating work that needs to be done now to stitch together all these trading operations,” Glocer said.
Thomson Reuters’ markets division is exposed to financial services and contributes 59 per cent of group sales. Glocer said the Thomson Financial legal and health professional business would help the company to weather the storm.
In slides for the presentation the company said it expected revenue growth of 6 to 8 per cent, almost all organic, and an underlying profit margin of 19 to 21 per cent for 2008.
It also reiterated targets to generate free cash flow of 11 to 12 per cent of sales for capital expenditure of 8 to 9 per cent of revenue.
The company said it had completed its refinancing needs for Thomson’s acquisition of Reuters in April through long-term debt offerings in June. It had a $2.5 billion credit facility on which it had not drawn.
Devin Wenig, markets division CEO, said the company’s foreign exchange business had its best month ever in September. But he could not predict how long it would take until conditions for the division as a whole would improve.
“We certainly are not viewing this through rose-coloured glasses. We’ve never seen a market like this. There are parts of our business that are really challenged right now,” he said. ■