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April 21 – May 1, 2008 Edition
Shows Strong Results
LONDON/4/23/2008–Jan Hommen, Chairman of Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV, told shareholders at the Reed Elsevier PLC annual meeting in London today, said the company saw rapid growth in our online information services and customer workflow solutions for the year 2007.
The company presently owns Publishers Weekly but plans to sell that unit along with all of its Business Information Division properties.
"We were very pleased to report on a year of significant achievement and strategic development for Reed Elsevier in 2007," said Hommen." Our businesses performed well in their markets and The financial performance was strong, with good organic revenue growth and margin improvement, high cash generation and a further step-up in return on invested capital. We also significantly re-shaped the business portfolio with the successful Â£2.5 billion/€3.6 billion sale of the Harcourt Education division and subsequent return of the net proceeds to shareholders.
"In the new financial year we have stepped up the momentum with the announcement of important plans to accelerate growth: first, the planned divestment of the Reed Business Information trade magazines and information businesses to reduce our exposure to advertising markets and their cyclicality; secondly, the agreed Â£2.1 billion/€2.8 billion acquisition of ChoicePoint Inc. in the fast growing risk information and analytics market; and, thirdly, a major restructuring programme to deliver substantial cost savings over and above our regular annual improvements in cost effectiveness," Hommen told shareholders.
He said the changes will create a more cohesive and synergistic business with stronger, more consistent growth prospects to drive further shareholder value.
Looking at the trading outlook for 2008, Mr. Hommen commented:
"Trading conditions have changed little since our 2007 Preliminary Results statement in February. Conditions in our markets remain generally favourable with good subscription renewals and revenue momentum for online information and workflow solutions. While we are, of course, very alert to the current economic environment, so far we have seen no meaningful adverse impact on Reed Elsevier’s overall business momentum.
"In Elsevier, in both the Science and Technology and Health Sciences divisions, subscriptions renewals and online sales are progressing well and book publishing is expanding. The Health Sciences business is again expecting good growth from new publishing and backlist sales, though this will be mostly seen in the second half due to the seasonality of the business."
Among other results:
LexisNexis has seen good revenue momentum across the business. In US Legal Markets good demand continues for online information and our expanding portfolio of workflow solutions. The Risk Information and Analytics business continues to grow strongly. International growth outside the US is benefiting from the strong demand for online services in the UK and other European and Asian markets.
Reed Exhibitions has had a positive start to the year. It has seen good overall demand for the important first half shows.
The Reed Business Information magazine and information business, while seeing some general uncertainty in markets such as property and construction, is seeing no overall shift in market trends with continued strong growth in online services more than offsetting the slow decline in print. Preparatory work on the divestment of the business is well underway.
The acquisition of ChoicePoint Inc., announced on 21 February 2008, is expected to close in the second half subject to receipt of US regulatory approvals. The ChoicePoint shareholders approved the terms of the acquisition at their shareholders’ meeting on 16 April 2008.
The restructuring programme announced in February is on track to deliver the expected benefits in 2008 and beyond.
"The outlook for Reed Elsevier is positive. We are well positioned in attractive markets; the momentum in the business is showing through in the good financial performance, and the changes we are making will strengthen the business and accelerate our growth.," Hommen concluded.
Reed Elsevier Group plc is a world leading publisher and information provider. It is owned equally by its two parent companies, Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The parent companies are listed on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges, under the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RUK and ENL. In 2007, Reed Elsevier had revenues from its continuing operations of Â£4.6bn. The group employs 32,000 people, including approximately 16,000 in North America. Operating in the scientific, medical, legal, risk and business-to-business sectors, Reed Elsevier provides high value and flexible information solutions to professional end users, with increasing emphasis on internet delivery.
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