170 US jobs to go in Reuters shake-up

Reuters, the financial information giant, yesterday announced plans to cut 170 jobs at its US operations, in the latest stage of a sweeping restructuring.

The move, which will affect about 5 per cent of Reuters America's 3,500 staff, is aimed at streamlining the company's global operations and ensuring that the focus remains on its core business of providing financial and other information. Reuters had 14,600 employees world-wide at 30 June.

"The action that has been taken is the result of restructuring that began in late 1995," a spokesman at Reuters in New York said. "The aim has been to streamline the company, make it more sales-driven."

The firings follow the company's launch of the series 3000 terminal for financial market professionals, which Peter Jobs, the chief executive, called the most important development in Reuters' business in recent years.

"The investment requires the streamlining of our organisation to press home our sales advantage and to achieve maximum market penetration in a cost-effective manner," Mr Jobs said in October.

Earlier this year, the company's UK and Irish units were merged with those of continental Europe and the Middle East, in a bid to eliminate administrative duplication.

The US spokesman said further job cuts could not be ruled out but that none were planned for 1997.

In the US, the cuts will affect management, journalists and sales staff, but the company said it did not intend to close any bureaux. As well, the sales force, which has grown by 10 per cent in the past year, will only be marginally affected.