Taylor & Francis sees first-half sales rise

Taylor & Francis sees first-half sales rise

The Taylor & Francis Group saw sales rise 11.3% year-on-year to £238.9m in the six months to 30th June 2017, although underlying growth was put at just 1.2%, suggesting the publisher saw a boost from foreign exchange and the weakened pound.

Adjusted operating profit was up 17.3% to £85.5m - a 0.3% rise in underlying terms.

Parent company Informa Group noted: "Technology continues to shape the Academic market, facilitating greater collaboration and sharing of ideas, increased connectivity between subject and flexible pricing models. This is creating growth opportunities but also a need for ongoing innovation. We continue to invest to strengthen our capabilities, most recently through the addition of Colwiz, a technology business employing big data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence to search, collate and map targeted global research activities." Colwiz was acquired in May of this year.

Under the "fresh" leadership of newly appointed c.e.o. Annie Callanan, Informa predicted that T&F was positioned for a "steady" in-year performance, "with the assumption that weakness in Lower Level textbooks continues through the important fourth quarter trading period."

The company also noted that in 2016 it had combined its UK and US books operations into a single, global books business, "delivering operational efficiencies but also giving us greater flexibility and bringing us closer to customers." It said there had been resulting benefits this year "including in the commissioning and production of new titles, inventory management, invoice processing and in our flexibility around digital product development."

The Informa Group as a whole saw 3.7% underlying growth, 41.3% reported, in the first half, to a total of £915.4m, including US-based Penton Information Services which it acquired last year. Adjusted Operating Profit saw a 1% underlying growth and 41% reported growth, to £285.1m.

The Academic Publishing division (Taylor & Francis) accounted for 26% of Informa PLC group revenue in the first half and 30% of its adjusted profit. The company includes Global Exhibitions and Knowledge & Networking divisions, as well as Penton.

Stephen A Carter, Informa Group chief executive, said: "The Informa Group continues to make steady operational and financial progress in the fourth year of our acceleration programme, whilst effectively integrating US-based Penton Information Services ahead of plan."