SOURCE: Wolters Kluwer NV

February 27, 2008 02:17 ET

Wolters Kluwer Full-Year 2007 Results

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - February 27, 2008) -

Accelerated growth and profitability

Organic revenue growth accelerated to 4%, ordinary EBITA margin improved to 20%

Diluted ordinary EPS grew 25%

Amsterdam (February 27, 2008) - Wolters Kluwer, a leading global information services and publishing company, today released its full-year and fourth-quarter 2007 results. Full-year revenues of EUR 3.4 billion grew 6% in constant currencies with organic revenue growth of 4%. In the fourth quarter, revenues of EUR 937 grew 5% in constant currencies with organic revenue growth of 5%. Wolters Kluwer continued the strong growth of its online and workflow solutions, which now comprise half of the total revenue. Full-year profitability improved substantially with ordinary EBITA margin growing to 20% from 17% in 2006. Diluted ordinary earnings per share increased by 25% to EUR 1.38. The company proposes a 10% increase of its 2007 dividend to EUR 0.64 per share.

Highlights include[1]:

Full year 2007:

* Organic revenue growth was 4% (2006: 3%)

* Reported revenues of EUR 3,413 million, grew 6% in constant currencies (2006: EUR 3,377 million)

* Ordinary EBITA margin improved to 20% (2006: 17%)

* Ordinary EBITA of EUR 667 million increased 27% in constant currencies (2006: EUR 556 million)

* Diluted ordinary EPS increased 25% to EUR 1.38 (2006: EUR 1.10), 35% in constant currencies

* Free cash flow of EUR 405 million (2006: EUR 399 million, which included a EUR 53 million one-time tax refund)

* Revenues from online and workflow solutions grew 9%

* Structural cost savings of EUR 161 million, an increase of 26% (2006: EUR 128 million)

* Divestment of Education: sales price EUR 774 million; book profit EUR 595 million; net proceeds EUR 665 million

* Share buy-back program completed (EUR 645 million returned to shareholders)

* Net profit for the full year was EUR 918 million (compared to 2006: EUR 322 million), supported by the divestiture of the Education division

Fourth quarter 2007:

* Revenues of EUR 937 million, grew 5% in constant currencies (2006: EUR 946 million)

* Organic revenue growth of 5%

* Ordinary EBITA of EUR 210 million increased 27% in constant currencies (2006: EUR 175 million)

* Ordinary EBITA margin improved to 22% (2006: 18%)

* Diluted ordinary EPS increased 31% to EUR 0.47 (2006: EUR 0.36), 42% in constant currencies

* Free cash flow of EUR 211 million (2006: EUR 167 million)

* Structural cost savings of EUR 44 million (an increase of 19% over the same period 2006)


Reflecting the strength of the financial results, Wolters Kluwer proposes a 10% dividend increase to EUR 0.64 per share.

Nancy McKinstry, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board, commented on the company's full-year performance:

"2007 was a successful first year in executing our strategy for Accelerating Profitable Growth. I am pleased with our financial performance and our continued delivery of sustainable growth and shareholder value. Organic revenue growth in this period climbed to 4%, while ordinary operating margin grew to 20%, driven by strong customer demand for our online information and integrated workflow solutions.

With half of our revenues coming from online and electronic products and services, we are well positioned in our markets to deliver innovative products that meet our customers' changing needs. In 2007 we also made significant advances on all elements of our strategy, including the expansion into adjacent market segments of several of our core markets, and extending our global footprint by leveraging our products across new and high growth geographies.

With the sale of the Education division and the success of our restructuring program, 2007 marked the completion of our transformation strategy. As we enter 2008 our balanced geographic portfolio, which is largely non-cyclical and subscription-based, provides Wolters Kluwer with a strong position, despite challenging economic dynamics. I am confident in our ability to leverage our superior market positions, our improved organic growth and more efficient operating structure to achieve enhanced value to our customers and shareholders."

Key results by division for the full year 2007:

Health: Delivered organic growth of 1%, with strong growth in Clinical Solutions and Medical Research, partially offset by weakening pharma promotional spending, price compression in Healthcare Analytics, and softening book sales in legacy channels. Investments in new products and data sets continue to ensure the future leadership position of the division.

Corporate & Financial Services: Delivered good organic growth of 5% driven by strong growth at Corporate Legal Services, particularly in the first half of the year, reflecting continued success in the expansion of online services and software solutions. Contributions from banking, securities, and insurance product lines partially offset lower volumes in mortgage-related products. Entrance into new geographical and adjacent markets enhanced the division's industry leading positions.

Tax, Accounting & Legal: Delivered strong organic growth of 6%, through strong sales in software, online and publishing products, continuing adoption and integration of workflow tools, successful new product launches, and key acquisitions. The division successfully leveraged its global footprint to extend its positions in Canada and Asia Pacific and expanded into key adjacent customer segments such as corporate audit.

Legal, Tax & Regulatory Europe: Delivered good organic growth of 4%, driven by strong adoption of online and workflow solutions and the success of restructuring programs. Strong growth delivered by Italy, Spain, and Central and Eastern Europe showed success of innovation and customer focus programs. The Netherlands and Belgium generated good growth as their online offerings gained momentum in the market.

[1] Full-year and fourth-quarter 2007 results reflect the Education division as discontinued operations following the March 26, 2007 announcement of the sale that was completed in June 2007. 2006 results have been restated accordingly.

The full press release including tables can be downloaded from the following link:

PDF version of Press Release:

Caroline Wouters
Vice President, Corporate Communications
t + 31 (0)20 60 70 459

Kevin Entricken
Vice President, Investor Relations
t + 31 (0)20 60 70 407

Copyright © Hugin AS 2008. All rights reserved.

Contact Information