Heavy economic downturn hits hard...News agency Reuters has laid off 500 staff worldwide in a bid to cut costs. Reuters made the cuts after its electronic information services were hit heavily by the economic downturn and the 11 September attacks. It outlined a new corporate strategy aimed at dealing with a fall-off in business on Instinet - its popular electronic trading platform - and reacting to the new economic environment. The 500 lay-offs are in addition to the 1,100 announced in July and will cost Reuters £40m to instigate. However, it will allow Reuters to make a greater saving than previously planned, to offset lower than expected growth. The news came as Reuters announced third quarter results showing revenues still climbing, up 4 per cent on the equivalent quarter last year to £920m. But in its statement to the London Stock Exchange the group refused to disclose whether it was profitable or not.