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Thomson Reuters highlight AI, machine learning in a post-pandemic world




NEW YORK (Reuters) – Thomson Reuters Corp. will improve technology, close offices and rely more on machinery to prepare for a post-pandemic world, the news and information group said on Tuesday after reporting higher sales. high and operating profit.

The Toronto-based company will spend $ 500 million to $ 600 million over two years to destroy its technology credentials, investing in AI and machine learning to get data faster to more and more working professional clients. much from home during the coronavirus crisis.

It will move from a content provider to a content-driven technology company and from a hosting company to an operational structure.

Shares listed in Thomson Reuters New York and Toronto each gained more than 8%.

It aims to cut $ 600 million in annual operating costs by eliminating duplicate functions, modernizing and consolidating technology, and by decaying and reducing its real estate footprint. Dismissals are not a focus of cost cuts and there are no current plans to relocate assets as part of that plan, the company said.

We look at changing behaviors as a result of COVID … to professionals working from home working remotely being much more dependent on 24-7, digital always on, kind of information always available in real time, served through software and powered by AI and ML (machine learning), Chief Executive Steve Hasker said in an interview.

Sales growth is projected to accelerate in each of the next three years compared to the reported 1.3% sales growth for 2020, the company said in its earnings announcement.

Thomson Reuters, which owns Reuters News, said revenue rose 2% to $ 1.62 billion, while its operating profit rose more than 300% to $ 956 million, reflecting the sale of an investment and stocks. others.

Its three main sectors, Legal Professionals, Tax and Accounting Professionals and Corporations, all showed higher organic quarterly sales and adjusted profit. As part of the two-year program of change, the corporate, legal and tax side will function more as a customer-facing entity.

Adjusted earnings per share of 54 cents were ahead of the expected 46 cents, based on Refinitive data.

The company raised its annual dividend by 10 cents to $ 1.62 per share.

The Reuters News business showed lower earnings in the fourth quarter. In January, Stephen J. Adler, Reuters editor-in-chief for the past decade, said he would retire in April from the world’s largest international news provider.

Thomson Reuters also said its stake in the London Stock Exchange is now worth about $ 11.2 billion.

The LSE last month completed its acquisition of $ 27 billion in Refinitive data and analysis business, 45% owned by Thomson Reuters.

Reporting by Ken Lee, writing by Nick Zieminski in New York, editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman

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