January 8, 2009 / 6:33 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Thomson Reuters sees lower revenue growth rate

NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Thomson Reuters Corp’s (TRI.TO) TRIL.L quarterly and annual revenue growth rate will slow, a senior company executive said on Thursday, reflecting the effects of the world financial crisis.

Chief Financial Officer Robert Daleo declined to provide fourth-quarter or 2009 forecasts.

But he said at a financial conference that revenue growth in the quarter would be slower than in the third quarter and that 2009 would have a slower rate of revenue growth than 2008.

The news and information provider believes it can protect its margins during the economic downturn “reasonably well,” Daleo said.

Thomson Reuters also could handle what Daleo called tactical acquisitions.

The company has about $8 billion in debt with an average maturity of about 6-1/4 years and a 5-1/2 percent interest rate, he said. It has also paid off debt from Reuters Group Plc, which Thomson Corp bought last year, he said.

“We really don’t have to go back into the debt markets to refinance our long-term debt in 2009,” Daleo said.

In addition, the company has a credit facility of $2.5 billion, which he said was “totally untapped.”

Daleo also addressed the difference between Thomson Reuters share prices in Toronto and London.

The London shares trade at a discount of nearly 30 percent to the Toronto shares, a gap the company has been unable to close.

“We’re prepared to invest the time and energy and effort with our UK investors to help them understand the dynamics of the business,” he said.

Thomson Reuters London shares closed down 2 percent at 1,458 pence. The Toronto shares were down 4.5 percent at C$32.36 in afternoon trading. (Reporting by Robert MacMillan; Editing by Ted Kerr)

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