Reuters sits on cash mountain

Reuters yesterday disapppointed the City by failing to deliver confirmation about the long-awaited return of surplus cash to shareholders. Sir Christopher Hogg, chairman, asked for "patience" while the board examined "all options" on the distribution of funds.

Speaking at the annual meeting, Sir Christopher said: "Be patient, it will come in one form or another." A spokesman for Reuters added that the company, which has more than pounds 850m cash, still hoped to resolve the issue by year-end.

Expectations of an announcement had been running high ahead of the group's first-quarter results which showed a 14 per cent increase in revenues to pounds 713m, helped by the advantageous dollar exchange rate. At constant exchange rates the increase fell short of expectations at only 9 per cent.

Peter Job, chief executive, said growth from information products was slowing, partly due to consolidation in the financial sector, but also "partly because we need our new 3000 product line [a replacement for the 2000 range of news and information screen-based products] to galvanise sales".

"This product line is now being tested with customers and is scheduled to be released prior to our half-year results announcement in July," he said.

Reuters shares fell 15p to 736p at one point, but rallied to close at 749p, a fall of 2p on the day. Michael Stranks, an analyst at Henderson Crosthwaite, said: "Revenues were one point or so below expectations; the market had been looking for 10 per cent at constant exchange rates. The fact that there was nothing new at the moment on any special dividend or share buy-back also disappointed some of the bulls."

Jason Crisp, of Societe Generale Strauss Turnbull, said the share price fall was "an over-reaction". The company had strongly indicated at the time of its results announcement in February that it would not see double- digit sales growth at constant exchange rates, and that there would be nothing new until the end of the year on plans to redistribute surplus cash to shareholders. He added, however, that there was likely to be disappointment in underlying sales growth.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Financial Advisers and Paraplanners

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...

Guru Careers: FX Trader / Risk Manager

Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies