Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wolters Kluwer Reports

Half yearly results at Wolters Kluwer were mixed with organic revenue growth up 1% and revenues at constant currency rates up 4%. Overall reported revenues were down 4%. Operating expenses held constant with the prior period resulting in a slight reduction in operating margin.

Total half year revenues were $1,608mm versus 1,677mm and EBITA was $288mm versus $304mm.

Highlights from the company's press release are as follows:

Double-digit earnings growth, stable profit margin, and solid cash flow performance give confidence for achieving the full-year targets. With its diversified and defensive portfolio, Wolters Kluwer has the foundation in place for sustained profitability and long-term growth.

  • 20% diluted ordinary earnings per share growth in constant currencies
  • 4% revenue growth in constant currencies (1% organic revenue growth)
  • 8% growth in higher margin electronic products in constant currencies
  • Resilient profit margins despite weaker market conditions
  • Solid free cash flow underpins strong balance sheet and liquidity
  • Reiterate progressive dividend policy
Under the hood: The company has to be worried about the results in its Health segment which industry wide has been one of information publishing's more vibrant sectors. For the half year revenues are down 14% (2% CC) and EBITA down 51% (49% CC). On $305mm in revenue the Health segment is almost a breakeven business which must be a concern. The company's Tax and Regulatory business was a highlight and helped mitigate some of the reduction in Health. Overall, the company remains confident of hitting its full-year growth targets between 3-4% despite the retraction in Health and their other slow segment Corportate & Financial Services.

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