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May 08, 2019

Thomson Reuters Reports First-Quarter 2019 Results

TORONTO, May 8, 2019 – Thomson Reuters (TSX/NYSE: TRI) today reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 and reaffirmed its full-year Outlook for 2019 and 2020.

“The year is off to a solid start,” said Jim Smith, president and CEO of Thomson Reuters. “The trajectory of the business continued to improve on the progress made last year. Revenue growth is tracking to our outlook.  Recurring revenue growth is the strongest we have seen in several years. Net sales are strong and our book of business continues to grow.  Our transformation initiatives are on track and we are seeing good underlying margin improvement. We remain confident in our ability to achieve our 2019 and 2020 targets.”

Consolidated Financial Highlights - Three Months Ended March 31

Three Months Ended March 31,
(Millions of U.S. dollars, except for adjusted EBITDA margin and EPS)
(unaudited)


IFRS Financial Measures
(1)


 2019

2018
 
Change
Change at
Constant Currency

Revenues 
$1,487 $1,379 8%  
Operating profit
$274 $268 2%
 
Diluted earnings per share (EPS)
(includes discontinued operations)
$0.23 $(0.48) n/m  
Cash flow from operations
(includes discontinued operations)
$(58) $419  n/m
 

Non-IFRS Financial Measures(1)

       
Revenues
$1,487 $1,379 8%
10%
Adjusted EBITDA
$397 $430 -8%
-8%
Adjusted EBITDA margin 26.7% 31.1%
-440bp -520bp
Adjusted EPS
$0.36 $0.28
29% 25%
Free cash flow 
(includes discontinued operations)
$(177)
$120 n/m
 
n/m: not meaningful
(1) 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.

Revenues increased 8%, due to the inclusion of revenues paid by Refinitiv to Reuters News for providing news and editorial content, and also to higher recurring revenues across all other customer segments.

  • At constant currency, revenues increased 10%; currency had a $26 million (2%) negative impact during the quarter.
  • Organic revenue growth was 3%, driven by a 6% increase in recurring revenues, which comprised 76% of total revenues. The 6% increase in recurring revenues was partially offset by a 3% decline in transactions revenues (13% of total revenues) and a 4% decline in Global Print revenues (11% of total revenues).

Operating profit increased 2% due to benefits from other operating gains, which included gains from the sales of several small businesses. 

  • Adjusted EBITDA, which excludes other operating gains, decreased 8% and the margin decreased to 26.7%, primarily due to costs and investments to reposition the company following the separation of the Financial & Risk (F&R) business to create Refinitiv.

Diluted EPS was $0.23 compared to a loss of $0.48 in the prior-year period, which included an $844 million deferred tax charge associated with the sale of the company’s F&R business, which was recorded in discontinued operations.

  • Adjusted EPS, which excludes discontinued operations, was $0.36 compared to $0.28 in the prior-year period, primarily reflecting a benefit from lower common shares and lower interest expense.

Cash flow from operations decreased reflecting a contribution to a pension plan, the loss of cash flows from the company’s former F&R business (which were included in the prior-year period, but are no longer included as of October 1, 2018), and investments to reposition Thomson Reuters following the separation of F&R from the company.

  • Free cash flow decreased for the same reasons. 

Highlights by Customer Segment – Three Months Ended March 31

(Millions of U.S. dollars, except for adjusted EBITDA margins)
(unaudited)
 

Three Months Ended
March 31,


Change


Revenues


2019


2018


Total

Foreign 
Currency

Constant
Currency

Legal Professionals
$594 $585 2%
-1%
3%
Corporates 352 329 7%
-2%
8%
Tax Professionals 222 217 2%
-3%
5%
Reuters News 155 72 115% -6%
121%
Global Print 165 177 -7% -3% -4%
Eliminations (1) (1)      
Revenues
$1,487 $1,379 
8%
-2%
10%
Adjusted EBITDA 
         
Legal Professionals  $227 $191 19% 0%
19%
Corporates 118 111 6% 1%
5%
Tax Professionals  93 80 16% -5%
21%
Reuters News 16 8
97% 15% 82%
Global Print 74 81 -9% -1% -8%
Corporate costs (131) (41) n/a n/a n/a
Adjusted EBITDA
$397 $430 -8% 1%
-8%
Adjusted EBITDA Margin          
Legal Professionals  38.2% 32.6% 560bp 40bp 520bp
Corporates 33.6% 33.8% -20bp 70bp -90bp
Tax Professionals  41.9% 37.1%
480bp -50bp 530bp
Reuters News 10.3% 11.3% -100bp 110bp -210bp
Global Print 44.8% 45.7% -90bp 90bp -180bp
Corporate costs n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Adjusted EBITDA margin
26.7% 31.1% -440bp 80bp -520bp
n/a; not applicable

Unless otherwise noted, all revenue growth comparisons by customer segment in this news release are at constant currency (or exclude the impact of foreign currency) as Thomson Reuters believes this provides the best basis to measure their performance. Other than EPS, the company reports its results in millions of U.S. dollars, but computes percentage changes and margins using whole-dollars to be more precise. As a result, percentages and margins calculated from reported amounts may differ from those presented, and growth components may not total due to rounding. 

Legal Professionals

Revenues increased 3% to $594 million.

  • Recurring revenues grew 4% and grew 5% organically (93% of total).
  • Transactions revenues declined 13% and declined 9% organically (7% of total).

Adjusted EBITDA increased 19% to $227 million.

  • The margin increased from 32.6% to 38.2% primarily due to higher revenues, savings from efficiency initiatives and the favorable timing of expenses.

Corporates

Revenues increased 8% to $352 million, primarily due to strong recurring revenue growth. The acquisition of Integration Point (a global trade management business) in the fourth quarter of 2018 contributed approximately 3% to the growth rate.

  • Recurring revenues grew 12% (76% of total), driven by organic revenue growth of 9% and revenues from the acquisition of Integration Point.
  • Transactions revenues declined 2% and declined 4% organically (24% of total), due in part to lower revenues from the Pangea3/Legal Managed Services (LMS) business. In April 2019, the company signed a definitive agreement to sell the Pangea3/LMS business to EY and the sale is expected to close later in the second quarter.

Adjusted EBITDA increased 6% to $118 million.

  • The margin decreased from 33.8% to 33.6% as higher revenues mostly offset the dilutive impact of the Integration Point acquisition.

Tax Professionals

Revenues increased 5% to $222 million.

  • Recurring revenues grew 7% - all organic (78% of total).
  • Transactions revenues were consistent with the prior-year period (22% of total).

Adjusted EBITDA grew 16% to $93 million.

  • The margin increased from 37.1% to 41.9% due to higher revenues, the favorable timing of expenses and efficiency savings.

Reuters News

Revenues increased 121% to $155 million due to revenue from the 30-year agreement for Reuters News to supply news and editorial content to Refinitiv, which began in the fourth quarter of 2018.

  • Organic revenues increased 3%, partly attributable to a price increase related to the Refinitiv agreement.

Adjusted EBITDA was $16 million, an increase of $8 million primarily due to timing of expenses.

Global Print

Revenues decreased 4% to $165 million.

Adjusted EBITDA decreased 9% to $74 million.

  • The margin decreased from 45.7% to 44.8%.

Corporate Costs

Corporate costs at the adjusted EBITDA level were $131 million compared to $41 million in the prior-year period. As previously disclosed, the increase was due to costs and investments to reposition Thomson Reuters following the separation of F&R. These cash costs and investments are expected to continue throughout 2019. 

Business Outlook for 2019 and 2020 (At Constant Currency)

Thomson Reuters today reaffirmed its Outlook for 2019 and 2020. The company’s Outlook for 2019 and 2020 assumes constant currency rates compared to 2018 and does not factor in the impact of acquisitions or divestitures that may occur. The company has provided a full-year Outlook for two years because 2019 will be materially impacted by costs to separate the business from Refinitiv and reposition it for growth, while 2020 should represent the first year that the company’s financial performance will reflect the benefits from its actions, without material costs related to the actions.

 

2018
Actual
2019 Outlook 
Before Currency
2020 Outlook
Before Currency
Revenue Growth 4%(1) 7% - 8.5%(2) 3.5% - 4.5%
Adjusted EBITDA $1.4 billion 
($1.3 billion before currency)
$1.4 - $1.5 billion(3) 30.0% - 31.0%(3)
Corporate Costs $499 million ~$570 million $140 - $190 million
Free Cash Flow $1.1 billion $0 - $300 million  $1.0 - $1.2 billion
Capital Expenditures - % of Revenue ~10% ~9% 7.5% - 8.0%
Depreciation & Amortization of Computer Software $510 million $600 - $625 million(3) TBD
Interest Expense (P&L) $260 million $150 - $175 million TBD
Effective Tax Rate on Adjusted Earnings 15% 16% - 19% ~20%
(1) 2018 organic revenue growth was 2.5%.
(2) 2019 organic revenue growth is expected to be 3% - 3.5%. For purposes of the organic growth calculation, the initial contract value of the company’s 30-year agreement with Refinitiv that was signed on October 1, 2018 is treated as an acquisition until October 1, 2019.
(3) The impact of the new lease accounting standard (IFRS 16) is expected to increase both adjusted EBITDA and depreciation and amortization of computer software by an estimated $40 million in 2019 and $50 million in 2020 and is reflected in this Outlook. IFRS 16 has no impact on free cash flow.

Some of the forward-looking financial measures in the Outlook above are provided on a non-IFRS basis. See the section below entitled “Non-IFRS Financial Measures” for more information. The information in this section is forward-looking and should also be read in conjunction with the section below entitled “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements, Material Risks and Material Assumptions.”

Dividend and Share Repurchases

In February 2019, the company announced that its Board of Directors approved a $0.04 per share annualized increase in the dividend to $1.44 per common share (representing the 26th consecutive year of dividend increases). A quarterly dividend of $0.36 per share is payable on June 17, 2019 to common shareholders of record as of May 23, 2019.

Earlier this year, the company announced plans to repurchase up to an additional $250 million of its shares under its normal course issuer bid. The company repurchased $190 million of shares in the first quarter (approximately $40 million of which were repurchased using part of the remaining proceeds of the F&R transaction, as announced in 2018). 

Refinitiv Ownership Interest

On October 1, 2018, Thomson Reuters sold a 55% interest in the company's F&R business, which is now known as Refinitiv. Except as otherwise noted, all amounts noted in this news release are from continuing operations and exclude the results of the company’s former F&R business. The company’s IFRS earnings per share since October 1, 2018 have included its share of results from its 45% investment in Refinitiv, which is removed from the company’s non-IFRS calculation of adjusted EPS. The company’s results since October 1, 2018 also have included new revenues in the Reuters News business from providing news and editorial content to Refinitiv since that day.  Additional information regarding Refinitiv’s financial results is provided in the appendix to this news release. 

Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters (TSX/NYSE: TRI) is the world’s leading provider of news and information-based tools to professionals. Our worldwide network of journalists and specialist editors keep customers up to speed on global developments, with a particular focus on legal, regulatory and tax changes. Thomson Reuters shares are listed on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges. For more information on Thomson Reuters, visit tr.com and for the latest world news, reuters.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 (other than at the customer segment level), free cash flow, adjusted EPS, selected measures excluding the impact of foreign currency, and changes in revenues computed on an organic basis. 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.

The company's Outlook contains various non-IFRS financial measures. The company believes that providing reconciliations of forward-looking non-IFRS financial measures in its Outlook would be potentially misleading and not practical due to the difficulty of projecting items that are not reflective of ongoing operations in any future period. The magnitude of these items may be significant. Consequently, 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 2019 or 2020 impact of changes in foreign exchange rates which impact (i) the translation of its results reported at average foreign currency rates for the year, and (ii) other finance income or expense related to 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 currently anticipate. 

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

Certain statements in this news release, including, but not limited to, statements in the "Business Outlook for 2019 and 2020 (At Constant Currency)" section, Mr. Smith’s comments, statements regarding the expected timing for the closing of the sale of the Pangea3/LMS business, the company’s plans to make future share repurchases, and expectations for Corporate costs, are forward-looking. The words “expect”, “believe”, “target” and “will” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. While the company believes that it has a reasonable basis for making forward-looking statements in this news release, they are not a guarantee of future performance or outcomes and there is no assurance that the events described in any forward-looking statement will materialize. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations. Many of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions are beyond our company’s control and the effects of them can be difficult to predict.

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; fraudulent or unpermitted data access or other cyber-security or privacy breaches; failures or disruptions of telecommunications, data centers, network systems or the Internet; failure to develop new products, services, applications and functionalities to meet customers' needs, attract new customers and retain existing ones, or expand into new geographic markets and identify areas of higher growth; increased accessibility to free or relatively inexpensive information sources; failure to derive fully the anticipated benefits from the Refinitiv strategic partnership with Blackstone; failure to efficiently complete the separation of Refinitiv from Thomson Reuters; failure to adapt to organizational changes and effectively implement strategic initiatives; failure to meet the challenges involved in operating globally; failure to maintain a high renewal rate for recurring, subscription-based services; dependency on third parties for data, information and other services; changes to law and regulations; tax matters, including changes to tax laws, regulations and treaties; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange and interest rates; failure to attract, motivate and retain high quality management and key employees; failure to protect the brands and reputation of Thomson Reuters; inadequate protection of intellectual property rights; threat of legal actions and claims; downgrading of credit ratings and adverse conditions in the credit markets; failure to derive fully the anticipated benefits from existing or future acquisitions, joint ventures, investments or dispositions; the effect of factors outside of the control of Thomson Reuters on funding obligations in respect of pension and post-retirement benefit arrangements; risk of antitrust/competition-related claims or investigations; actions or potential actions that could be taken by the company’s principal shareholder, The Woodbridge Company Limited; impairment of goodwill and other identifiable intangible assets; and the ability of Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company to affect the company’s governance and management. 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.

The company's 2019 and 2020 business outlook is based on information currently available to the company and is based on various external and internal assumptions made by the company in light of its experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that the company believes are appropriate under the circumstances. Economic and market assumptions include, but are not limited to, GDP growth in the United States (77% of the company’s 2018 revenues) and secondarily, in other countries where Thomson Reuters operates; a continued increase in the demand and need for high quality information and tools that help automate or manage workflow solutions and drive productivity and efficiency; a continued need for trusted products and services that help customers navigate evolving and complex legal, tax, accounting, regulatory, geopolitical and commercial changes, developments and environments; and a continued increase in customers seeking software-as-a-service or other cloud-based offerings. Internal financial and operational assumptions include, but are not limited to, continued growth in the company’s recurring revenue base which offsets anticipated declines in its global print business; acquiring new customers by enhancing the company’s digital platforms and propositions and through other sales initiatives; improving customer retention through commercial simplification efforts and customer service improvements; the company’s ability to continue to combine information, technology and human expertise in offerings that meet evolving customer demands and needs; the company’s ability to reduce stranded costs related to the F&R transaction and the separation of the two businesses to less than $50 million in 2020; and the successful execution of a number of efficiency initiatives that are expected to generate cost savings, such as reducing headcount, office locations and the number of products offered by the company and the leveraging of fewer, shared technology platforms.

The company has provided an Outlook for the purpose of presenting information about current expectations for 2019 and 2020. 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.

CONTACTS

MEDIA
David Crundwell 
Head of Communications
+1 416 649 9904
david.crundwell@tr.com

INVESTORS
Frank J. Golden

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

Thomson Reuters will webcast a discussion of its first-quarter 2019 results today beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). You can access the webcast by visiting ir.thomsonreuters.com. An archive of the webcast will be available following the presentation.