Thursday, February 23, 2006

Reuters disappoints - what happened to the turn-around?

Reuters has just announced their full year results for 2005. Since Tim Glocer took over a few years ago, and since the collpase of the markets in 2000, Reuters has been battling to stem losses in revenues and re-invent themselves. They cut costs and announced a restructuring plan aptly named Fast Forward that was supposed to rev up the old British news agancy.

But for the past 4 years revenues at Reuters have continued to slide. And Bloomberg flourished, which just made things worse and made Mike Bloomberg relaxed enough to take on a new day job sorting out New York. The latter looks easier than project Fast Forward.

But finally, Reuters has seen their 2005 revenues stabilize for they were flat after taking account of exchange rates, bla, bla, bla. Flat. Mmm, that's exciting. Project Fast Forward sounds like it should speed up. Reuters needs to keep re-inventing, keep consolidating the industry (they recently bought Telerate), and get ever tighter with their key customers. A deal just announced with Citibank looks like the way forward.

Ultimately Reuters needs to recognize that their core business of financial information for the financial services industry has matured and will only deliver slow growth going forwards. They need to find new markets and new product offerings that are higher growth. A move into consumer information looks almost interesting, but may not be a break through.

How about using their technology skills to help banks with trading and settlement over the Internet. After all, look at how well they did with Tibco. Just a thought.

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