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Thomson Reuters to cut $400 million costs by 2017

A promising first quarter has put Thomson Reuters on a solid footing to grow this year, the company told shareholders. More cost-cutting is set for the next three years.

Growth will come mostly from “organic initiatives’ rather than acquisitions, chief executive James Smith (photo) said at the company’s annual meeting in Toronto on Thursday. It will be driven by culture change among its nearly 58,000 employees around the world. The aim is to simplify the business and emphasise sales.

“The pace of change becomes more pronounced with every passing year,” said chairman David Thomson, and the company is looking for ways to spend less. It plans to cut $400 million in costs by 2017.

It is also targeting fast-expanding businesses for customers with a view to growing in step with them, The Globe and Mail reported. More than half of group revenues now come from companies averaging nine per cent annual growth. The Toronto newspaper is majority owned by Woodbridge, the Thomson family’s holding company that controls Thomson Reuters.

“We are aggressively shifting our focus and our resources behind those businesses,” Smith said. “We believe that, going forward, we will achieve a gradual improvement in revenue performance, a natural evolution.”

Tax and accounting is the group’s fastest-growing division. Its revenue rose 10 per cent to $348 million in the first quarter. Smith said he also sees “legs” in both regulatory compliance products and in software that helps companies automate cross-border trade. ■

The Globe and Mail