Thomson Reuters Reports Third-Quarter 2016 Results

TORONTO – Thomson Reuters (TSX / NYSE: TRI) today reported results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2016.

"It is encouraging to see our continued progress flow through in the third-quarter numbers,” said Jim Smith, president and chief executive officer of Thomson Reuters. “Our core subscription businesses are moving in the right direction, our cost controls are working and we are increasingly confident in our execution capability. That is why we are going to pick up the pace of our transformation efforts.”

Consolidated Financial Highlights – Third Quarter

(All amounts are from continuing operations, except cash flow measures)

Three Months Ended September 30,

(Millions of U.S. dollars, except earnings per share (EPS) and margins)

IFRS Financial Measures 2016 2015(1) Change
Revenues $2,744 $2,747 0%
Operating profit $385 $386 0%
Diluted EPS $0.34 $0.32 6%
Cash flow from operations (includes discontinued operations) $758 $680 11%

 

  • Revenues were essentially unchanged as growth in subscription revenues was offset by the impact of foreign currency and a decline in low margin recoveries revenues
  • Operating profit was essentially unchanged as higher subscription revenues were offset by the impact of foreign currency, which included unfavorable fair value adjustments associated with foreign currency derivatives embedded in certain customer contracts
  • Diluted EPS increased 6% to $0.34, with the increase driven by the benefit of lower common shares outstanding
  • Cash flow from operations, which includes discontinued operations, increased 11% to $758 million, primarily due to favorable timing of working capital

 

Non-IFRS Financial Measures(2) 2016 2015(1) Change Change Before Currency
Revenues $2,744 $2,747 0% 1%
Adjusted EBITDA $814 $782 4% 2%
Adjusted EBITDA margin 29.7% 28.5% 120bp 20bp
Underlying operating profit $559 $524 7% 3%
Underlying operating profit margin 20.4% 19.1% 130bp 30bp
Adjusted EPS $0.54 $0.45 20% 13%
Free cash flow(includes discontinued operations) $519 $449 16%  

(1) Unless otherwise indicated, results exclude the Intellectual Property & Science (IP & Science) business, which was sold in October 2016. IP & Science was classified as a discontinued operation for 2016 reporting purposes through the closing date of sale. 2015 amounts (except cash flow measures) are restated to conform to the current year's presentation.
(2) In addition to results reported in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), the company uses certain non-IFRS financial measures as supplemental indicators of its operating performance and financial position. These and other non-IFRS financial measures are defined and reconciled to the most directly comparable IFRS measures in the tables appended to this news release. Additional information is provided in the explanatory footnotes to the appended tables.

  • Revenues were unchanged. Before currency, revenues increased 1%
    • Excluding recoveries, revenues increased 2% (before currency)
  • Adjusted EBITDA increased 4% to $814 million, and the margin increased 120 basis points to 29.7% from 28.5% in the prior-year period. Excluding currency, the margin increased 20 basis points
  • Underlying operating profit increased 7% to $559 million, and the margin increased 130 basis points to 20.4% from 19.1% in the prior-year period. Excluding currency, the margin increased 30 basis points
  • Adjusted EPS increased 20% to $0.54, an increase of $0.09 per share. Currency had a $0.03 favorable impact

Planned Charge in Fourth-Quarter 2016 and Updated Full-Year 2016 Outlook

  • Thomson Reuters today announced that it plans to record a charge of approximately $200 million to $250 million to be incurred in the fourth quarter of 2016. This charge is intended to accelerate the pace of the company’s Transformation program by further simplifying and streamlining the business. The majority of the charges will be taken in Financial & Risk and the Enterprise, Technology & Operations Group that was created in January 2016. The resulting run-rate cash savings in 2017 are estimated to be of a similar magnitude to the planned charge, with some of the savings to be reinvested in the business.
  • The company updated its 2016 full-year outlook to reflect the planned charge, as outlined in the Business Outlook section of this news release.

Sale of IP & Science Business

The IP & Science business was sold for $3.55 billion in cash on October 3, 2016. The net proceeds from the sale will be approximately $3.2 billion. The company utilized $1.7 billion of the proceeds to repay commercial paper during October and it plans to use the remaining proceeds primarily to buy back shares under its current $1.5 billion share repurchase program, further pay down debt and for reinvestment in the business.

Highlights by Business Unit

Unless otherwise noted, all revenue growth comparisons in this news release are before the impact of foreign currency (constant currency) as Thomson Reuters believes this provides the best basis to measure the performance of its business.

Financial & Risk

  • Revenues increased 1%. Revenues grew approximately 2% excluding the impact of some temporary items, primarily the impact of lower recoveries revenues and commercial pricing adjustments related to the migration of certain customers to new platforms.
    • Recurring revenues (77% of the segment’s revenues in the quarter) were up 2%, primarily due to the impact of an annual price increase and a positive net sales trend, partly offset by lower revenues resulting from the pricing adjustments referred to above and macro-economic conditions impacting large European banks and banks in several emerging markets.
    • Transactions revenues (15% of the segment’s revenues in the quarter) were up 4% due to increased revenue from Tradeweb, BETA brokerage processing and transactional revenues from the Risk business. This increase was offset by the impact of lower foreign exchange trading volumes.
    • Low-margin recoveries revenues (8% of the segment’s revenues in the quarter) decreased 12% as some third-party partners continue to move to direct billing with their customers. The rate of decline in these revenues is expected to lessen again in the fourth quarter.
      • Recoveries represent revenues for content or services provided by third parties and distributed through Financial & Risk’s platform. Reductions in recoveries revenue have no impact on the unit's EBITDA or operating profit.
  • By geography, revenues in the Americas were up 3% (up 4% excluding recoveries). Revenues in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) were unchanged (up 2% excluding recoveries). Revenues in Asia were unchanged (up 1% excluding recoveries).
  • EBITDA increased 10% to $460 million and the margin increased 260 basis points to 30.3% from 27.7% in the prior-year period. Excluding the impact of currency, the margin increased 160 basis points. The increase in the margin was primarily due to higher revenues and savings related to efficiency initiatives and platform closures in 2015.
  • Operating profit increased 15% to $313 million and the margin increased 270 basis points to 20.6% from 17.9% in the prior-year period. Excluding the impact of currency, the margin increased 160 basis points. The operating profit margin improvement reflected the same factors that impacted EBITDA.
  • Net sales were positive in all regions, marking the tenth consecutive quarter of positive total net sales.

Legal

  • Revenues were unchanged from the prior-year period. Excluding US print, revenues grew 1%.
    • Solutions businesses (45% of the segment’s revenues in the quarter) grew 1%. Solutions subscription revenue growth of 5% was offset by a 9% reduction in transactional revenues.
    • US Online Legal Information (42% of the segment’s revenues in the quarter) grew 2%, marking the seventh consecutive quarter of growth.
    • US Print (13% of the segment’s revenues in the quarter) declined 8%.
  • Subscription revenues (75% of the segment’s revenues in the quarter) grew 3%. However, transactional revenues (12% of the segment’s revenues in the quarter) declined 8% due to lower Legal Managed Services and Elite transactional revenues.
  • EBITDA declined 2% to $328 million and the margin increased 10 basis points to 39.3% from 39.2% in the prior-year period. Excluding the impact of currency, the margin declined 30 basis points.
  • Operating profit decreased 3% to $264 million and the margin decreased 20 basis points to 31.6% from 31.8% in the prior-year period. Excluding the impact of currency, the margin declined 40 basis points.

Tax & Accounting

  • Revenues increased 6%, driven by the Corporate, Professional and Knowledge Solutions businesses, partially offset by a decline in the Government business. Recurring revenues (90% of the segment’s revenues in the quarter) increased 11%.
  • EBITDA increased 10% to $87 million and the margin increased 120 basis points to 26.9% from 25.7% in the prior-year period. Excluding the impact of currency, the margin increased 70 basis points.
  • Operating profit increased 18% to $59 million and the margin increased 200 basis points to 18.3% from 16.3% in the prior-year period. Excluding the impact of currency, the margin increased 120 basis points.
  • The timing of revenues and expenses can impact margins in any given quarter for the Tax & Accounting business. Full-year margins are more reflective of the segment’s underlying performance.

Corporate & Other (Including Reuters News)

  • Reuters News revenues were $73 million, down 1% compared to the prior-year period.
  • Corporate & Other costs were $77 million compared to $68 million in the prior-year period.

Consolidated Financial Highlights – Nine Months

(All amounts are from continuing operations, except cash flow measures)

Nine Months Ended September 30,

(Millions of U.S. dollars, except EPS and margins)

IFRS Financial Measures 2016 2015(1) Change
Revenues $8,306 $8,370 -1%
Operating profit $1,096 $1,093 0%
Diluted EPS $0.99 $0.91 9%
Cash flow from operations (includes discontinued operations) $1,986 $1,875 6%

 

  • Revenues declined 1% as higher subscription revenues were more than offset by the impact of foreign currency and a decline in low margin recoveries revenues
  • Operating profit was essentially unchanged as higher subscription revenues were offset by the impact of foreign currency, which included unfavorable fair value adjustments associated with foreign currency derivatives embedded in certain customer contracts
  • Diluted EPS increased 9% to $0.99, primarily due to lower tax expense as well as the benefit of lower common shares outstanding
  • Cash flow from operations, which includes discontinued operations, increased 6% due to higher operating profit before the impact of non-cash items such as depreciation, amortization and fair value adjustments

 

Non-IFRS Financial Measures(2) 2016 2015(1) Change Change Before Currency
Revenues $8,306 $8,370 -1% 1%
Adjusted EBITDA $2,319 $2,287 1% 0%
Adjusted EBITDA margin 27.9% 27.3% 60bp -10bp
Underlying operating profit $1,562 $1,495 4% 2%
Underlying operating profit margin 18.8% 17.9% 90bp 30bp
Adjusted EPS $1.47 $1.24 19% 15%
Free cash flow(includes discontinued operations) $1,267 $1,093 16%  

(1) Unless otherwise indicated, results exclude the IP & Science business, which was sold in October 2016. IP & Science was classified as a discontinued operation for 2016 reporting purposes through the closing date of sale. 2015 amounts (except cash flow measures) are restated to conform to the current period’s presentation.
(2) In addition to results reported in accordance with IFRS, the company uses certain non-IFRS financial measures as supplemental indicators of its operating performance and financial position. These and other non-IFRS financial measures are defined and reconciled to the most directly comparable IFRS measures in the tables appended to this news release. Additional information is provided in the explanatory footnotes to the appended tables.

  • Revenues declined 1%. Before currency, revenues increased 1%. Excluding recoveries, revenues increased 2% (before currency)
  • Adjusted EBITDA increased 1% to $2.3 billion, and the margin increased 60 basis points to 27.9% from 27.3% in the prior-year period. Excluding the impact of currency, the margin was down 10 basis points from the prior-year period
  • Underlying operating profit increased 4% to $1.6 billion, and the margin increased 90 basis points to 18.8% from 17.9% in the prior-year period. Excluding the impact of currency, the margin increased 30 basis points
  • Adjusted EPS increased 19% to $1.47, an increase of $0.23 per share. Currency had a $0.04 favorable impact
  • Free cash flow for the first nine months of the year increased 16% to $1.3 billion compared to $1.1 billion in the prior-year period

Business Outlook (Before Currency)

Thomson Reuters updated its full-year business outlook for 2016 to reflect the planned fourth-quarter charge discussed earlier in this news release.

The company’s 2016 Outlook assumes constant currency rates compared to 2015 and all metrics below (except for free cash flow) exclude the IP & Science business, which was classified as a discontinued operation for 2016 reporting purposes through the closing date. The 2016 Outlook is based on the expected performance of the company’s remaining businesses and does not factor in the impact of any other acquisitions or divestitures that may occur during the year.

For the full-year 2016, the company expects:

  • Low single-digit revenue growth
    • 2% to 3% revenue growth excluding Financial & Risk’s recoveries revenues, which are low margin revenues and are expected to decline as partners move to direct billing with their customers
  • Adjusted EBITDA margin to range between 25.0% to 26.0% - Including planned charge
    • Adjusted EBITDA margin to range between 27.3% and 28.3% - Excluding planned charge
  • Underlying operating profit margin to range between 16.0% to 17.0% - Including planned charge
    • Underlying operating profit margin to range between 18.4% and 19.4% - Excluding planned charge
  • Free cash flow to range between $1.7 billion and $1.9 billion in 2016 (most of cash impact from planned charge to be incurred in 2017)

The information in this section is forward-looking and should be read in conjunction with the section below entitled “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements, Material Assumptions and Material Risks.”

Dividend and Share Repurchases

In February 2016, the Thomson Reuters board of directors approved a $0.02 per share annualized increase in the dividend to $1.36 per common share. A quarterly dividend of $0.34 per share is payable on December 15, 2016 to common shareholders of record as of November 17, 2016.

From January 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016, the company repurchased approximately 31.2 million shares at a cost of $1.2 billion. Of this amount, 13.2 million shares were repurchased in the third quarter at a cost of $542 million. Under the current $1.5 billion share repurchase program announced in February 2016, the company has repurchased approximately 26.4 million shares at a cost of about $1.1 billion through September 30, 2016.

Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of news and information for professional markets. Our customers rely on us to deliver the intelligence, technology and expertise they need to find trusted answers. The business has operated in more than 100 countries for more than 100 years. Thomson Reuters shares are listed on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges (symbol: TRI). For more information, visit www.thomsonreuters.com.

NON-IFRS FINANCIAL MEASURES

Thomson Reuters prepares its financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).

This news release includes certain non-IFRS financial measures, such as adjusted EBITDA and the related margin, underlying operating profit and the related margin, free cash flow, adjusted EPS, and selected measures before the impact of foreign currency. Thomson Reuters uses these non-IFRS financial measures as supplemental indicators of its operating performance and financial position. These measures do not have any standardized meanings prescribed by IFRS and therefore are unlikely to be comparable to the calculation of similar measures used by other companies, and should not be viewed as alternatives to measures of financial performance calculated in accordance with IFRS. Non-IFRS financial measures are defined and reconciled to the most directly comparable IFRS measures in the appended tables.

As previously disclosed in July 2016, the company redefined adjusted earnings and adjusted EPS in relation to certain tax computations to better align with current market practices and to reflect guidance issued earlier this year by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These changes were effective for the third quarter and have not impacted the company's reporting of revenues, adjusted EBITDA, underlying operating profit or free cash flow.

The company's outlook contains various non-IFRS financial measures. For outlook purposes only, the company is unable to reconcile these non-IFRS measures to the most comparable IFRS measures because it cannot predict, with reasonable certainty, the 2016 impact of changes in foreign exchange rates or the company’s share price which impact (i) the translation of its results reported at average foreign currency rates for the year, (ii) fair value adjustments associated with foreign currency derivatives embedded in certain customer contracts, (iii) the valuation of certain share-based awards and (iv) other finance income or expense related to foreign exchange contracts and intercompany financing arrangements. Additionally, the company cannot reasonably predict the occurrence or amount of other operating gains and losses, which generally arise from business transactions that it does not anticipate.

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS, MATERIAL ASSUMPTIONS AND MATERIAL RISKS

Certain statements in this news release, including, but not limited to, statements in the "2016 Business Outlook (Before Currency)" section, Mr. Smith’s comments and statements regarding the planned fourth-quarter charge and expected run-rate savings resulting from the charge, are forward-looking. As a result, forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations. There is no assurance that the events described in any forward-looking statement will materialize. A business outlook is provided for the purpose of presenting information about current expectations for 2016. This information may not be appropriate for other purposes. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements which reflect expectations only as of the date of this news release. Except as may be required by applicable law, Thomson Reuters disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

The company's 2016 Business Outlook is based on various external and internal assumptions. Economic and market assumptions include, but are not limited to, GDP growth in most of the countries where Thomson Reuters operates and a continued increase in the number of professionals around the world and their demand for high quality information and workflow solutions. Internal financial and operational assumptions include, but are not limited to, the successful execution of sales initiatives, ongoing product release programs, our globalization strategy and other growth and efficiency initiatives.

Some of the material risk factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by forward-looking statements in this news release include, but are not limited to, changes in the general economy; actions of competitors; failure to develop new products, services, applications and functionalities to meet customers' needs, attract new customers or expand into new geographic markets and identify areas of higher growth; failures or disruptions of telecommunications, network systems or the Internet; fraudulent or unpermitted data access or other cyber-security or privacy breaches; increased accessibility to free or relatively inexpensive information sources; failure to maintain a high renewal rate for subscription-based services; dependency on third parties for data, information and other services; changes to law and regulations, including the impact of the Dodd-Frank legislation and similar financial services laws around the world; tax matters, including changes to tax laws, regulations and treaties; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange and interest rates; failure to adapt to recent organizational changes and effectively implement strategic initiatives; failure to recruit, motivate and retain high quality management and key employees; failure to meet the challenges involved in operating globally; failure to derive fully the anticipated benefits from existing or future acquisitions, joint ventures, investments or dispositions; failure to protect the brands and reputation of Thomson Reuters; impairment of goodwill and identifiable intangible assets; inadequate protection of intellectual property rights; threat of legal actions and claims; risk of antitrust/competition-related claims or investigations; downgrading of credit ratings and adverse conditions in the credit markets; the effect of factors outside of the control of Thomson Reuters on funding obligations in respect of pension and post-retirement benefit arrangements; and actions or potential actions that could be taken by the company’s principal shareholder, The Woodbridge Company Limited. These and other factors are discussed in materials that Thomson Reuters from time to time files with, or furnishes to, the Canadian securities regulatory authorities and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Thomson Reuters annual and quarterly reports are also available in the “Investor Relations” section of www.thomsonreuters.com.

Thomson Reuters will webcast a discussion of its third-quarter 2016 results today beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time (ET). You can access the webcast by visiting the “Investor Relations” section of www.thomsonreuters.com. An archive of the webcast will be available following the presentation.

 

CONTACT

Media
David Crundwell

Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Tel: +1 646 223 5285
Email: david.crundwell@tr.com

Investors
Frank J. Golden

Senior Vice President, Investor Relations
Tel: +1 646 223 5288
Email: frank.golden@tr.com