Reed Elsevier sees another year of earnings growth

Reuters - UK Focus

(Adds analyst comment, background, share price)

LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) - Anglo-Dutch businessinformation provider Reed Elsevier (Frankfurt: RDEB.F - news) reiteratedits forecasts for another year of underlying revenue andearnings growth after trading broadly in line during the firstquarter.

Reed Elsevier, which competes with Thomson Reuters (Frankfurt: TOC.F - news) ,said on Wednesday its first quarter underlying revenue growthrates across the business had remained consistent with itsperformance in 2013.

With the group operating well, it has completed 250 millionpounds of its 600 million pound share buyback pencilled in for2014.

"The outlook for 2014 is unchanged," it said. "We remainconfident that, by continuing to execute on our strategy, wewill deliver another year of underlying revenue, profit, andearnings growth."

Shares in the group, which have slipped in the last twoweeks after almost two years of steady gains, opened up half apercent.

Reed Elsevier is in the process of moving more of itscontent to digital platforms, where data can be more easilyorganised, searched and analysed.

The group said its Scientific, Technical & Medical division,which contributed almost half of 2013 adjusted operating profit,was broadly unchanged from last year. Its risk solutionsbusiness, which provides data to clients in financial services,was again boosted by the demand for new products and services inthe insurance industry.

The one weak spot for Reed in recent years however has beenthe reduced demand for its legal services in the United Statesand major European markets. It said on Wednesday that conditionsin those areas remained subdued in the first quarter.

Analysts said they did not expect any changes to forecastsalthough they welcomed the steady progress on the share buyback.

"In all candour, we can't say this is a game-changing set ofresults - literally nothing has changed since the full-yearresults at the end of February," Citi said in a note to clients. (Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Sarah Young)

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