Profits rise at Reed Elsevier

Profits rise at Reed Elsevier

Reed Elsevier has reported an increase in full-year profit and earnings.

The publishing company said its operating profit and earnings “grew well” in 2013, as it saw underlying revenue growth across “all major business areas.”

As a result, it has recommended a 7% increase in full year dividend for Reed Elsevier PLC.

Net profit for the year to 31st December rose to £1.11bn from £1.04 billion the previous year. Meanwhile revenue fell 1% to £6.04bn, but rose 3% when the impact of exhibitions held every two years is taken into account.

The company, whose brands include the legal publisher LexisNexis and the magazine New Scientist, said it planned to complete £600m of share buybacks in 2014, the same as 2013, as it seeks to give shareholders the benefit of its strong balance sheet.

Reed Elsevier chief executive officer Erik Engstrom said: "In 2013 we remained focused on transforming our business profile and improving the quality of our earnings. We did this primarily through organic investment, supported by a small number of targeted acquisitions, and by exiting from several businesses that no longer fit our strategy."

He added: “Early trends across our business in 2014 remain broadly consistent with 2013, and we are confident that, by continuing to execute on our strategy, we will deliver another year of underlying revenue, profit, and earnings growth".

The company said that during 2013 it continued to develop its global technology platforms across the business, launch new products and services in both existing and adjacent markets and extend its reach in "high growth markets and geographies".

During the course of the year it also completed 20 small acquisitions of content and data assets for a total consideration of £230m. It also disposed of 26 assets that no longer fit its strategy, for a total consideration of £331m.