Reuters loses market share

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Reuterslost further market share last year. The news and information provider saw its share of the £6bn end user market - customers who take its information services - fall by 2 percentage points to 37 per cent, measured by revenues, or to 39 per cent when measured by number of customers.

The company said the loss was result of weakness in the markets where the Reuters offering was strongest - that is, equities and foreign exchange.

However, Reuters, releasing market share data yesterday, said that the introduction of new products at the mid and lower ends of the market should enable it to regain ground overall.

Tom Glocer, the Reuters chief executive, said: "The success of our premium offering is encouraging. We have worked hard to improve these products and it is nice to see that customer take-up has been good.

"The drop in overall market share is not unexpected and I am confident that our new products in the mid-tier and our investment in service will be the basis for strengthening our overall position."

Reuters announced that it had gained market share from Bloomberg in the £2.2bn premium tier market in 2003. Reuters said it serves 28 per cent of this market by revenues and 34 per cent by number of positions. However, it declined to say by how much its share had improved but the gains will have largely been driven by the rollout of Reuters' new 3000Xtra product.

In this segment of the market, information screens from Reuters or Bloomberg cost typically around $1,000 (£550) per month.

Analysts at Lehman Brothers said: "Gains in the premium tier have been more than offset by declines in the mid and lower tiers ... We believe the market share of both Bloomberg and Thomson has increased.

"We estimate that revenues at Bloomberg rose 10 per cent over 2003 with Reuters recurring revenues declining 10 per cent and Thomson's underlying revenues down 7 per cent over the same period."

Meg Geldens, an analyst at Investec Securities, said: "While we knew that Reuters' revenue from premium products grew in 2003 by 10 per cent to £730m driven by 3000Xtra, we are pleasantly surprised to see this was sufficient to result in a market share gain from Bloomberg in the premium market."