Revenue of £2,964m/€4,031m; underlying growth +3%: The underlying growth rate reflects continued growth in electronic and face to face revenues (86% of the total), partially offset by continued print revenue declines. Adjusted operating profit of £909m/€1,236m; underlying growth +5%: Growth expressed in sterling was +6%, and expressed in euros +18%, reflecting the sharp decline in the euro since the first half of 2014. Reported operating profit: Reported operating profit, including amortisation of acquired intangible assets, was £737m (£697m) or €1,002m (€850m).
Commenting on the results, Anthony Habgood, Chairman, said: “RELX Group continued to execute on its strategic and financial priorities in the first half of 2015, and we have announced a +6% increase in the interim dividend for RELX PLC and a +17% increase for RELX NV. We have implemented a set of measures that simplify our corporate structure and increase transparency for our shareholders.”
Chief Executive Officer, Erik Engstrom, commented: “We achieved good underlying revenue growth in the first half of 2015, and, through further process innovation across our business, we continued to generate underlying operating profit growth ahead of underlying revenue growth, driving +8% growth in adjusted EPS at constant currencies.” “Our financial position and cash flow remain strong, and investment in organic growth remains our number one priority for cash use, supported by small acquisitions of datasets and analytics.” “The key drivers within our business remain positive, and we are confident that we will deliver another year of underlying revenue, profit, and earnings growth in 2015.”
Key business trends remained positive in the first half, with primary research subscription revenue growth remaining at the level achieved in the prior year. Underlying profit growth exceeded underlying revenue growth. Underlying revenue growth was +2%. The difference between the reported and underlying growth rates primarily reflects the impact of exchange rate movements. Underlying adjusted operating profit growth of +5% reflects slightly favourable phasing, driving margin expansion before currency effects. The reported margin was slightly lower, reflecting the adverse effects of exchange rate movements in the period. In primary research, double digit growth in usage and article submissions to subscription journals continued. Journal quality, as measured by relative impact factor, was maintained, with 55% of our journals seeing an increase in impact factor. We invested in the launch of new subscription and author pays open access journals in the first half, with strong volume growth trends. We saw continued good growth in databases & tools, as well as in electronic reference and education. Print book declines continued in line with full year 2014. Print pharma promotion revenue declines moderated.
Full year 2015 outlook: Our customer environment remains largely unchanged. Overall we expect another year of modest underlying revenue growth, with underlying operating profit growth continuing to exceed underlying revenue growth.
Source: Reed Elsevier Earnings Release