May 1, 2008 / 1:52 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Thomson Reuters posts quarterly operating profit

(Adds outlook, share activity)

NEW YORK, May 1 (Reuters) - Global news and information company Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI.TO) TRIL.L posted an operating profit for the first quarter on Thursday, and forecast 2008 revenue growth of 6 percent to 8 percent, pushing its shares up 5 percent.

Chief Executive Tom Glocer said the results and outlook reflect the robustness of the recently combined business, even in turbulent markets.

“Thomson Reuters is extremely well-positioned to capitalize on the growing demand across the world’s business and professional communities for intelligent information,” Glocer said in a statement.

Thomson, a Canadian publisher of professional services databases and financial information, bought Reuters on April 17 for more than $16 billion in cash and stock.

Pro forma first-quarter underlying operating profit was $579 million, a rise of 37 percent from a year ago, assuming that Thomson and Reuters had been one company at the time.

Pro forma revenue for the quarter ended Mar. 31 rose 12 percent from a year ago to $3.3 billion.

Thomson Reuters forecast underlying profit margin to be between 19 and 21 percent for 2008, with free cash flow margin, excluding synergy and integration costs, to be between 11 and 12 percent of revenue.

In the first quarter, the new company’s markets division, which includes the Reuters and Thomson news operations, as well as their financial services data and tools, reported operating profit of $353 million, up 69 percent.

The professional division, which includes databases and tools for accountants, lawyers and tax professionals, reported operating profit of $299 million, up 6 percent.

London shares of Thomson Reuters were up 5 percent to 1640 pence. (Reporting by Robert MacMillan; Editing by Brian Moss)

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