Wolters Kluwer NV
amsterdam : WLSN

July 25, 2012 02:23 ET

Wolters Kluwer 2012 Half-Year Results

ALPHEN AAN DEN RIJN, THE NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - Jul 25, 2012) - Wolters Kluwer, a global leader in professional information services, today released its 2012 half-year results.

Highlights

  * Full-year 2012 guidance confirmed.

  * Revenues up 3% in constant currencies and up 1% organically.

      * Deterioration in Europe offset by improved organic growth in North
        America.

      * Recurring revenues up 2% organically (76% of total revenues).

      * Online, software and services revenues up 4% organically (75% of
        total revenues).

      * Health and Financial & Compliance Services grew organically 5% and
        6%, respectively.

  * Ordinary EBITA EUR346 million; Ordinary EBITA margin of 19.9%.

  * Leverage ratio net-debt-to-EBITDA improves to 2.9x
    (2011 year-end: 3.1x).

      * Expect to approach target of 2.5x by year-end.

  * Healthcare Analytics disposal completed in May as part of pharma
    divestiture program.

  * EUR100 million share buy-back completed on July 9; program will be
    expanded by up to EUR35 million under new policy to offset dilution
    from stock dividend and performance shares.

Nancy McKinstry, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board, commented: "Our performance is on track, despite challenging macro-economic conditions in Europe. Improved momentum in North America and growth in our online, software and services products globally have helped deliver positive organic growth for the group in the first half. We continue investments in product innovation and geographic expansion while actively pursuing operating efficiencies. We remain confident we will deliver on our full-year guidance."

Key Figures 2012 Half-Year

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Six months ended June 30
 (EUR millions unless otherwise indicated)   2012   2011   D  D CC  D OG
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Business performance - benchmark figures

 Revenue                                    1,739  1,619  +7%  +3%  +1%

 Ordinary EBITA                               346    325  +7%  +1%  -2%

 Ordinary EBITA margin (%)                   19.9%  20.1%

 Ordinary net income                          204    196  +4%   0%

 Diluted ordinary EPS (EUR)                  0.68   0.65  +5%  +1%

 Ordinary free cash flow                      142    131  +9%  +1%

 Net debt                                   2,258  2,194  +3%
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 IFRS results(1)

 Revenue                                    1,739  1,619  +7%

 Operating profit                             253    203 +25%

 Profit for the period(2)                     124      9   nm

 Diluted EPS (EUR)(2)                        0.42   0.03   nm

 Net cash from operating activities           192   162  +19%
------------------------------------------------------------------------

D - % Change; D CC - % Change constant currencies (EUR/USD 1.39); D OG - % Organic growth; nm - not meaningful. Benchmark and IFRS figures are for continuing operations unless otherwise noted. Benchmark figures are performance measures used by management. See Note 2 of the Interim Financial Report for a reconcilation from IFRS to benchmark figures.

(1) International Financial Reporting Standards as adopted by the European Union.

(2) Includes discontinued operations.

Full-Year 2012 Outlook

We remain confident we will deliver on our full-year guidance. The ordinary EBITA margin is expected to improve slightly in the second half, despite investment and cost inflation, as a result of the ongoing mix shift towards electronic solutions and the gradual build up of Springboard cost savings towards the targetted EUR205-EUR210 million run rate (full-year 2011: EUR191 million).

The table below provides our outlook for the continuing operations for 2012.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Performance indicators                          2012 Guidance
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Ordinary EBITA margin                           21.5-22.5%

 Ordinary free cash flow(1)                      > = EUR425 million

 Return on invested capital                      > = 8%

 Diluted ordinary EPS(1)                         Low single-digit growth(2)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

(1) In constant currencies (EUR/USD 1.39)

(2) Includes effect of 2012 share buy-backs, stock dividend and performance shares.

Guidance is based on constant exchange rates. Wolters Kluwer generates more than half of its ordinary EBITA in North America. As a rule of thumb, based on our 2011 currency profile, a 1 U.S. cent move in the average EUR/USD exchange rate for the year causes an opposite 0.8 euro-cent change in diluted ordinary EPS.

Net financing costs are expected to be approximately EUR125 million in constant currencies. The effective benchmark tax rate on ordinary income before tax is expected to be approximately 27.5% in 2012 due to an increasing proportion of profits in higher tax regions.

In Legal & Regulatory, we expect European markets to remain challenging in the second half. Our North American business is positioned for growth. Cost savings continue to build throughout the year which should help support margins. The second half will see the effect of two disposals of non-core publications in the Netherlands, which together represented approximately 2% of divisional revenues in 2011.

In Tax & Accounting, we expect organic growth to improve in the second half of the year reflecting seasonal buying patterns. The second half margin is expected to be broadly in line with the second half of 2011.

In Health, we expect continued strong demand for Clinical Solutions. Trends in journal advertising markets are likely to remain weak. Margins should benefit from the ongoing shift towards electronic solutions.

In Financial & Compliance Services, we expect good growth in Financial Services and Audit, Risk & Compliance, but continued weakness in Transport Services.

The full press release on the 2012 Half-Year Results is available here: (PDF version).

Wolters Kluwer 2012 Half-Year Results (PDF): http://hugin.info/130682/R/1629121/521717.pdf

This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson Reuters clients. The owner of this announcement warrants that:

(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and

(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.

Source: Wolters Kluwer NV via Thomson Reuters ONE

[HUG#1629121]

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