In 2008, the Thomson Corporation and Reuters Group PLC merged to form Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters provides information for businesses and professionals in the financial, legal, tax and accounting, healthcare and science and media market. Thomson Reuters is dual-listed and is comprised by Thomson Reuters Corporation (Canada) and Thomson Reuters PLC (UK). The professional publisher is organized into three business units: Financial Risk (NOT included in this ranking), Legal and Tax Accounting.
Financial Risk provides news, information and analytics, and regulatory and operational risk management solutions. The Legal division produces online and print information, decision tools, and software and services that support legal investigation, business and government professionals.
Tax Accounting provides integrated tax compliance and accounting information, software and services for professionals in accounting firms, corporations, law firms and government.
Intellectual Property Science serves governments, academia, publishers, corporations and law firms with intellectual property and scientific information, decision support tools and services.
The group also operates Reuters, a provider of real-time news and information services. In October 2016, Thomson Reuter’s disposed its Intellectual Property Science business “in order to focus more on opportunities at the intersection of global commerce and regulation,” according to the annual report. The division was reported as a discontinued operation through the closing date of the sale, and results for 2015 have been restated.
Thomson Reuters’ majority is owned by The Woodbridge Company, the Thomson family investment company.
Analysis Key Developments
Thomson Reuters group revenues increased slightly by approximately 1.5% during fiscal 2017 and accounted for 11.33 billion USD compared to 11.17 billion in 2016. Revenues from publishing totaled 4.94 billion USD (2016: 4.82 billion). Adjusted EBITDA grew to 3.47 billion USD in 2017 (2016: 2.95 billion USD), and the related margin in total and in constant currency was partly due to a favorable comparison to prior year results. Furthermore, 86% of the Thomson Reuters revenues were derived from subscriptions or similar contractual arrangements in 2017, which resulted in recurring revenues. Ninety-three percent of Thomson Reuters 2017 revenues were from information delivered electronically, software and services.
In 2017, revenues from the company’s Legal segment broke down as follows: 45% from business solutions businesses; 42% from U.S. Online Legal Information; and13% from U.S. Print. Revenues totaled 3.39 billion USD in 2017, slightly up compared to 3.37 billion USD in 2016. Segment adjusted EBITDA and the related margin increased, both reflecting a favorable comparison to the prior-year period.
Tax Accounting’s 2017 revenues divide as follows: Corporate (38%), Professional (33%), Knowledge Solutions (26%) and Government (3%). Revenues increased on a constant currency basis driven by 5% growth in recurring revenue and therefore amount to 1.55 billion USD in 2017 (2016: 1.45 billion USD). The segment’s adjusted EBITDA increased 15% from 414 million USD in 2016 to 495 million USD in 2017.
In October 2016 the company closed the sale of its former Intellectual Property Science business to Onex Corporation and Baring Private Equity Asia for 3.55 billion USD in cash. The company plans to use 1 billion USD of the net proceeds to buy back shares, pay down debt, and reinvest in the business. Earnings from the discontinued operation (net of tax) reached 2.09 billion USD.
Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE, resigned from the Thomson Reuters Board of Directors in January 2017. Following his departure, the Thomson Reuters Board of Directors consists of 11 members.
In November 2017, Mary Alice Vuicic joined Thomson Reuters as Executive Vice President Chief People Officer.
In August 2017, the Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company confirmed the death of Chairman Dame Helen Alexander. Current acting Chairman Kim Williams will continue to serve in that capacity on an interim basis while a search is conducted for a new Chairman.
In May 2017, Rick King was appointed Executive Vice President, Operations.
In December 2017 Thomson Reuters partnered with the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) to help accelerate the development of FinTech innovation by bringing technology, tools and content to the Innovation Hub launched jointly by ASTRI and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).
In June 2017 Thomson Reuters announced its partnership with Symphony Communication Services LLC, a cloud-based messaging and collaboration platform that connects markets, organizations and individuals, securely.
Geographical diversity by revenues remained the same in 2017 as in 2016: 62% from the Americas; 27% from Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and 11% from Asia Pacific. Thomson Reuters operates subsidiaries in Latin America, China, India, the Middle East, Africa, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations/North Asia, Russia and countries comprising the Commonwealth of Independent States as well as Turkey.
In 2017, the breakdown between revenues from electronic products and print remained the same, at 93% from digital compared to 7% from print. Print revenues primarily came from the Legal segment.