US dollar pushes down sales at Wolters Kluwer

<p>First-half sales at Wolters Kluwer fell 4% thanks to the weak US dollar, according to results files by the Dutch STM and professional publisher. Sales were &euro;1.6bn in the six months to 30th June, compared with $1.7bn a year earlier: removing the exchange rate effect, sales rose 4%.</p><p>Earnings before interest and tax also fell, down 5% to &euro;288m, leading to a pretax profit of &euro;183m, down from &euro;198m. Kluwer pointed out that without the exchange rate pressure, profits would have risen 4%.</p><p>Nancy McKinstry, chief executive and chairman of the executive board, said: &quot;Market conditions have been challenging in our non-subscription product lines but we are confident that the foundation is in place for sustained profitability and long-term growth around our strategy of serving professionals with innovative information, software, and services.&quot;</p><p>Sale fells across the board at its business, thanks to the adverse impact of exchange rates, with revenues down 14% at is health divsion, 12% at its corporate and financial services unit, and 5% at its tax, accounting and legal business: though the latter two units would have reported growth of 1% and 8% at constant exchange rates. Its European legal, tax and regulatory unit was its best performer, with sales up 8%.</p><p>McKinstry added: &quot;Our subscription based products are performing well with improved retention rates. Strong profitability continues to be driven by the increasing contribution of electronic revenue growth, higher retention rates, and the success of prior restructuring efforts. Our strong balance sheet also allows us to seize attractive opportunities to support our long-term strategy for profitable growth.&quot; </p>