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'Systematic transformation' ups profits at Reed Elsevier

Reed Elsevier has reported revenue and pre-tax profit growth in 2012, with the company saying it had made "good progress" in transforming its business into that of a professional information solutions provider.

The company reported a 2% increase in revenue during 2012 from the previous year, to £6.12bn. It achieved an 8% rise in pre-tax profit during this time to £1.50bn. It also announced it had earmarked a further £300m for its share buyback programme as it continued with its strategy to sell off its advertising-reliant businesses.

C.e.o. Erik Engstrom said that by the end of 2012 approximately 80% of the company¹s revenues were from electronic and face-to-face products, which generated an average underlying revenue growth rate of 5-7%. Although the outlook for the publisher's market was mixed, it had "entered 2013 with positive momentum", and Engstrom expected "another year of underlying revenue, profit, and earnings growth" this year.

He said: "In 2012 we made good progress on our strategy to systematically transform our business into a professional information solutions provider that combines content and data with analytics and technology in global platforms. We continued to do this primarily through organic development, with acquisitions limited to small content and data assets across markets and assets in high growth geographies. We also accelerated the evolution of our portfolio by disposing of businesses that no longer fit our strategy, using the proceeds to buy back shares.

"As a result of these actions we are continuing to improve the quality of our earnings, to deliver more predictable revenues, a higher growth profile, and improving returns."

Anthony Habgood, chairman of Reed Elsevier, said a focus on operational efficiency had helped to increase the company's underlying profit and earnings. "We have continued to strengthen our balance sheet while maintaining organic investment, and sharpening the focus of our business," he said.

Going forward the company will remain focused on the "systematic transformation" of its business and on improving the quality of its earnings.