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Reuters reports drop in profits

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London--Casting blame on "increasingly challenging conditions" for business, Reuters plc on Tuesday reported that a first-half pre-tax profit of $506 million, down from $638 million a year earlier. First-half revenue rose 14% to $2.7 billion. Reuters' profit decline can be attributed to several factors, including spending $275 million to acquire much of the ailing financial news agency Bridge Information Systems Inc. and $68 million to buy a French back-office agency called Diagram. Reuters is also in the thick of a restructuring program that will cut as many as 1,100 jobs over the next two years. The cuts are the biggest in Reuters' 150-year history.
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