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Reed Elsevier is up with events

Reed Elsevier has published robust underlying growth and simplified its corporate structure

Anglo-Dutch publisher Reed Elsevier (REL) unveiled a simplified operating structure and a new name, RELX, alongside this decent set of full-year results. Change isn't unusual at the group, which owns the world's largest scientific journal publishing and events businesses, Elsevier and Reed Exhibitions: it has already transformed itself from a print publisher into a technology, analytics and specialist content powerhouse.

IC TIP: Hold at 1142p

Ignore event cycles and revenues rose 3 per cent, lifting adjusted operating profit by 5 per cent to £1.74bn. That reflected innovation, international expansion and Reed's unwavering focus on improving its content platforms. It also pruned its portfolio, making 17 disposals, and shelled out £385m for 27 assets - spanning automotive telematics, healthcare data and anti-money-laundering software.

Strip out currency impacts and operating profits rose across the board. That included a 12 per cent increase in exhibitions, as the division launched 36 new events and expanded into fast-growing countries and industries. Moreover, the insurance side of its risk division benefited from buoyant demand for US auto underwriting and mounting interest in its security and fraud-detection services. Depressed US and European markets weighed on the legal division, but operating profit still climbed a tenth thanks to a streamlined portfolio and greater efficiency.

Broker Numis expects pre-tax profits of £1.72bn this year, giving EPS of 61.8p, up from £1.58bn and 56.1p in 2014.

REED ELSEVIER (REL)
ORD PRICE:1,142pMARKET VALUE:£20.8bn
TOUCH:1,142-1,143p12-MONTH HIGH:1,199pLOW: 852p
DIVIDEND YIELD:2.3%PE RATIO:27
NET ASSET VALUE:116p*NET DEBT:166%

Year to 31 DecTurnover (£bn)†Pre-tax profit (£bn)†Earnings per share (p)Dividend per share (p)
20106.060.827.320.4
20116.000.932.421.6
20126.121.244.823.0
20136.041.248.824.6
20145.771.243.026.0
% change-4+3-12+6

Ex-div: 30 Apr

Payment: 22 May

*Includes intangible assets of £8.15bn, or 448p a share

†Turnover and pre-tax profit are for the combined Anglo-Dutch entity, while earnings and dividend per share are for Reed Elsevier plc