Thomson Reuters Corp., the financial news and information provider created by a 2008 merger, said fourth-quarter profit fell as revenue declined in the division that includes sales and trading and media.

Net income dropped to $182 million, or 21 cents a share, from $566 million, or 67 cents, a year earlier, New York-based Thomson Reuters said today in a statement. Excluding some items, earnings of 44 cents a share met the average estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Excluding the impact of currency, revenue in the markets unit, the largest, declined 5 percent to $1.91 billion. The professional division, which includes the Westlaw data service, boosted revenue by 1 percent on the same basis to $1.44 billion.

“The year has started well for us in sales, though given the lag inherent in our subscription-based model this will not turn into reported revenue growth until later this year,” Chief Executive Officer Thomas Glocer said on a conference call with reporters.

Thomson Reuters fell 68 cents, or 1.8 percent, to C$36.38 at 4:10 p.m. on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The shares have gained 7.2 percent this year.

Revenue in the three months through December declined 1.1 percent to $3.36 billion, compared with the $3.31 billion average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The underlying operating profit fell 16 percent to $661 million from $788 million, the company said. Profit on that basis excludes items such as amortization of intangible assets, impairment charges, integration program costs and the results of disposals.

Full-year revenue, excluding currency fluctuations, will be “flat to slightly down” because of a decline in net sales in 2009, Thomson Reuters said. Operating profit margin will be about unchanged, it said.

The company said it increased its quarterly dividend by 1 cent to 29 cents.


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