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Thomson Reuters returned to profit in Q4 but 2014 revenue was flat

Thomson Reuters swung to a fourth-quarter profit in 2014 and the core financial and risk division posted its first net sales growth in six years.

The company said it added more sales of its products to financial customers in 2014 and it expects revenue to increase this year, factoring out currency changes or acquisitions.

"I am pleased to say that we expect to return to organic revenue growth and achieve greater profitability in 2015," chief executive James Smith said in a statement.

F&R, which caters to banks and other financial institutions, represents more than half of the company's total revenue. Sales have lagged in recent years as banks slashed spending and cut headcount.

Total group revenue for the year was flat before currency adjustments at $12.6 billion, meeting the company's 2014 forecast.

For the fourth quarter, total revenue rose one per cent to $3.2 billion before currency considerations. It decreased two per cent when currency moves were factored in. Analysts on average were expecting $3.27 billion.

The rise in quarterly revenue was due to strength at the legal division, which reported a two per cent increase in revenue to $872 million and at tax and accounting, where revenue rose ten per cent to $397 million.

Adjusted for special items, fourth quarter income was $347 million, or 43 cents per share, compared with $170 million, or 21 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts were expecting 47 cents per share.

The company announced a quarterly dividend of 33.5 cents a share, payable on 16 March to shareholders of record on 23 February. ■