News Column

Reed Elsevier Ups Interim Dividend, Maintains Full Year Outlook

July 24, 2014

Hana Stewart-Smith

LONDON (Alliance News) - Reed Elsevier PLC Thursday maintained its outlook for the full year, expecting to deliver another year of underlying revenue, profit and earnings growth in 2014 as it raised its dividend for the half year to end-June.

Reed Elsevier proposed a dividend of 7.00 pence, up 5% from 6.65 pence.

The professional information company posted a pretax profit, at constant currency and excluding acquisitions and disposals, of GBP791 million, up from GBP778 million, despite seeing revenue decline to GBP2.85 billion from GBP3.03 billion, as its operating margin improved to 30.2% from 28.8%.

Revenue growth was driven by electronic and face-to-face revenues, which partially offset the continuing decline in traditional print revenues. Face-to-face revenue includes conferences and events.

The company said it had continued to transform its business in the first half, adding datasets and analytics, and building out its leading global platforms.

Reed Elsevier completed GBP400 million of share buy-backs during the period, and said a further GBP200 million is to be deployed in the remainder of 2014.

It completed 10 small acquisitions for GBP95 million during the half, and the sale of 6 assets for a total of GBP26 million.

"Underlying trends in our business continue to be positive as we enter the second half, and we remain confident that we will deliver another year of underlying revenue, profit, and earnings growth in 2014," said Chief Executive Erik Engstrom in a statement.

Liberum retained its Buy rating for Reed Elsevier, saying that the company's first half numbers were solid. "While we would not expect significant consensus upgrades, the numbers should reinforce the message that Reed is a 'safe' yet growing defensive name within media," Liberum said.

Shares in Reed Elsevier were trading up 1.6% at 954.00 pence early Thursday morning

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Source: Alliance News

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