UPDATE 3-Thomson Reuters revenue edges up on legal, accounting strengths

Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:20pm EDT
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By Jennifer Saba

July 30 (Reuters) - Thomson Reuters said on Tuesday that second-quarter revenue rose 2 percent as gains at its legal and accounting businesses helped offset weakness in the financial division, mainly in Europe.

The global news and information company reaffirmed its forecast for all of 2013 of revenue rising in the low single digits with an underlying operating profit margin between 16.5 and 17.5 percent.

Revenue from Legal, which includes WestlawNext, increased 5 percent to $846 million lifted by new products aimed at helping law firms manage litigation and their business. Tax & Accounting revenue rose 7 percent to $288 million.

"Everything that is in our control remains on track," Chief Executive James Smith told Reuters. "We expect the second half to remain better than the first half."

He said the trends continue to remain positive but added: "Unfortunately, so do the challenges facing the financial industry as a whole and particularly in Europe."

Banks, especially those in Europe, are still cutting costs. Thomson Reuters has been making progress in Asia and Japan, where net sales for its financial division have turned positive in the second quarter. The Americas has also improved.

Smith has previously said he expects net sales at the Financial & Risk division to turn positive in the second half of this year. Net sales -- an important metric because it points to future revenue -- strip out cancellations and lag revenue by about 12 months.   Continued...