Earnings: Online Growth Helps Up Reed Elsevier; Some Ad Uncertainties

As it announced the planned disposal of its B2B unit, Anglo-Dutch power publisher Reed Elsevier (NYSE: RUK), in preliminary 2007 results, posted profit up six percent to £888 million. That is on two percent better revenues of £4.584 billion and thanks to 11 percent growth in online information and workflow solutions – areas that now represent half of all revenues.

Elsevier: In Science & Technology, ScienceDirect got record subscription renewals and 20 percent more online traffic, though science segment revenues were down slightly by two percent. “Growth was partly held back by a flat performance in pharma advertising, with share gains compensating for weaker markets.” Doctors’ reference site MDconsult saw “double-digit” growth.

LexisNexis: The legal/corporate article database saw operating profit up 14 percent to £406 million at constant currencies (seven percent US, 10 percent international). They’re integrating lawfirm software provider Juris and Image Capture Engineering in to LexisNexis’ Total Litigator service. But US growth was “partly held back by fewer large sized discovery cases”.

Reed Business: Despite choosing to divest RBI, Reed said the business unit overall “performed well”, with adjusted operating profit up 10 percent to £260 million on constant currencies – “growth in online services more than compensating for print declines“. Advertising across community sites was up 31 percent. Business magazines are seeing “some general uncertainty in markets such as property and construction” and Reed expects “further cost actions”.

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