Elsevier saw 2% underlying revenue growth in 2018, according to the latest annual financial results filed by parent company RELX, to a total of £2,538m. At constant currency, the rise was 4%.
Adjusted operating profit also grew 2% year-on-year to £942m, giving the publisher a profit margin of 37.1%, flat with last year's 37%.
The break-out results for RELX's Scientific, Medical and Technical division were given as RELX announced its overall full-year results, which saw underlying revenue growth up 4% to £7,492m, with underlying adjusted operating profit growth up 6% to £2,346m. Reported operating profit was up 3% to £1,905m.
RELX said that for its STM division, key business trends "remained positive in 2018", with good growth in electronic revenues partially offset by print declines.
The report said: "Electronic revenues saw continued good growth. In primary research we continued to enhance customer value by providing broader content sets across our research offering, increasing the sophistication of our analytics and evolving our technology platforms. Databases and tools continued to drive growth across market segment through enhanced functionality and content development.
"Print book sales, which represent around 10% of divisional revenues, reverted to historical levels of decline for hte main selling season, with return rates also at historical levels."
For 2019, RELX predicted Elsevier would see "another year of modest underlying revenue growth, with underlying operating profit growth exceeding underlying revenue growth."
Chief executive officer Erik Engstrom said of the RELX results as a whole: "In 2018 we again achieved our objective to deliver good underlying revenue growth, with underlying adjusted operating profit growth ahead of underlying revenue growth, and adjusted earnings per share growth at constant currencies ahead of underlying profit growth... Our number one strategic priority remains unchanged: the organic development of increasingly sophisticated information-based analytics and decision tools that deliver enhanced value to our customers."