Shares in information solutions group Reed Elsevier rose strongly on Thursday after the firm reported decent underlying revenue and profit growth in the first half, with all five business areas contributing.
Revenues increased by 5% from £2,904m to £3,053m in the six months to June 30th, up 5% on an underlying basis (+3% excluding biennial event cycling), slightly ahead of the consensus estimate of £3,047m.
Adjusted operating profit increased 9% from £774m to £845m, up 7% on an underlying basis, and above the £824m forecast. Margins increased by 1.1 percentage points to 27.7%.
"1H figures look good overall with some decent like-for-like growth and margin slightly above our forecast, especially in Lexis Nexis and RBI. Outlook is reasonably positive, with REL expecting to deliver FY in line with expectations," said analysts at Investec.
Meanwhile, the interim dividend was raised by 6% to 6.0p per share. Net borrowings totalled £3.3bn, down from £3.4bn the same period the year before.
"We have continued to transform our core businesses through organic development by investing in our digital platforms and developing and launching new online products and services. We have extended our position in high growth markets through organic new launches supported by selective small acquisitions," said Chief Executive Officer Erik Engstrom.
He said that the company is accelerating the disposals of its businesses that "no longer fix our strategy"; completed and planned disposals are expected to be mildly dilutive to earnings per share in the short term but the group intends to use divestment proceeds to buy back shares this year.
"The outlook for the macro economic environment remains uncertain, but based on our good first half results, and the continuing improvement in the quality of our earnings, we expect to deliver underlying revenue and profit growth for the year in line with our expectations," Engstrom said.
Datafeed and UK data supplied by NETbuilder and Interactive Data.
While London South East do their best to maintain the high quality of the information displayed on this site,
we cannot be held responsible for any loss due to incorrect information found here. All information is provided free of charge, 'as-is', and you use it at your own risk!
The contents of all 'Chat' messages should not be construed as advice and represent the opinions of the authors, not those of London South East Limited, or its affiliates.
London South East does not authorise or approve this content, and reserves the right to remove items at its discretion.