SOURCE: Wolters Kluwer NV

February 25, 2009 02:13 ET

Wolters Kluwer Full-Year 2008 Results

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - February 25, 2009) -


Resilient results: strong profitability and cash flow; good earnings
      growth and solid performance from subscription businesses

Wolters Kluwer, a market leading global information services and publishing company focused on professionals, today released its full-year 2008 results, which reflect a resilient company, supported by a strong financial foundation and a growing online and software portfolio designed to drive long-term profitable growth.

Highlights

  * Ordinary EBITA margin improved 60 basis points to 20.1%
  * Free cash flow improved 3% to EUR 415 million in constant currencies
    (EUR 395 million at actual rates)
  * Diluted ordinary EPS rose 10% to EUR 1.52 in constant currencies, at
    actual rates EPS rose 7% to EUR 1.47
  * 3% revenue growth in constant currencies; organic revenue growth
    flat
  * Ordinary net income grew 4% in constant currencies
  * 9% growth in higher margin electronic product revenue in constant
    currencies; electronic products now comprise 49% of total
    revenue, up from 47% in the prior year
  * Increased dividend proposal to EUR 0.65 per share

Key Figures 2008

(All amounts are in millions of euros unless otherwise indicated)
                                Twelve months ended December 31
                            2008      2007       D     D CC    D OG
Revenue                       3,374     3,413  (1%)     3%      0%
Electronic revenue % of         49%       47%
total
Operating profit                503       546  (8%)    (5%)
Ordinary EBITA                  678       667   2%      5%      0%
Ordinary EBITA margin (%)     20.1%     19.5%
Ordinary net income             423       421   0%      4%
Diluted EPS continuing         1.09      1.08   1%      4%
operations
Diluted ordinary EPS (EUR )       1.47      1.38   7%      10%
Free cash flow                  395       405  (2%)     3%
D - % Change; D CC - % Change constant currency (EUR/USD 1.37); D OG
- Organic growth %

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

"Wolters Kluwer delivered strong profitability and cash flow during 2008, despite challenging economic conditions. The results demonstrate the strong fundamentals of our business. We saw significant growth in our online and software solutions, strengthened our leading market positions with strategic acquisitions and launched enhanced technology platforms to provide further opportunities to embed our solutions in customer's workflow. Our initiatives around operational efficiency, including Springboard, also provided support for our profitability.

"While market contractions were felt in all geographies, the company benefited from a resilient portfolio with a majority of revenue streams derived from subscription and other non-cyclical products, driven by legislative change, medical discoveries, and the increasing productivity needs of the professionals the company serves. Two thirds of revenues are subscription based with improving retention rates. The balance of the portfolio is comprised of transactional products including books, mortgage and corporate lending-based products, advertising and promotional services, and training. It is in these transactional areas that Wolters Kluwer experienced the pressure of the economic slow down.

"While we anticipate economic conditions will remain weak during 2009, we currently expect our ordinary EBITA margin to be broadly in line with 2008 levels and our ordinary diluted earnings per share to be between EUR 1.41 and EUR 1.46. This performance will be supported by our strong subscription base and growing online and software portfolio. We will continue to manage the business for the long term. Our strong commitment to our customers as well as our strong balance sheet supports our long-term strategy for growth."


Division overview (continuing operations)
(All amounts are in millions of euros unless otherwise indicated)
Twelve months ended
December 31                   2008     2007      D     D CC    D OG
Revenues
Health                           687      761   (10%)    (3%)    (5%)
Corporate & Financial            480      522    (8%)    (1%)    (2%)
Services (CFS)
Tax, Accounting & Legal          879      881      0%      8%      3%
(TAL)
Legal, Tax & Regulatory        1,328    1,249      6%      6%      2%
Europe (LTRE)
Total revenues                 3,374    3,413    (1%)      3%      0%

Ordinary EBITA
Health                            86      112   (24%)   (24%)   (28%)
Corporate & Financial            133      144    (8%)    (1%)      0%
Services (CFS)
Tax, Accounting & Legal          223      197     13%     22%     12%
(TAL)
Legal, Tax & Regulatory          274      253      9%      8%      3%
Europe (LTRE)
Corporate                       (38)     (39)    (4%)    (4%)    (4%)
Total Ordinary EBITA             678      667      2%      5%      0%

D - % Change; D CC - % Change constant currency (EUR/USD 1.37); D OG
- Organic growth %



Revenue growth components (continuing operations)
(All amounts are in millions of euros unless otherwise indicated)
Twelve months ended December 31                    2008  2007  Change
Subscription & other non-cyclical revenues         2,441 2,373     3%
Book revenues                                        380   385   (1%)
Cyclical revenues                                    622   655   (5%)
Impact of wholesaler de-stocking actions in         (19)
healthcare
Impact of loss of one significant pharmaceutical    (11)
data contract
Organic revenues1                                  3,413 3,413     0%
Net acquisition impact1                              114
Revenues (constant currencies)1                    3,527 3,413     3%
Currency impact                                    (153)
Reported revenues                                  3,374 3,413   (1%)
1At constant currency (EUR/USD 1.37)

Wolters Kluwer revenue totaled EUR 3,374 million in 2008, compared to EUR 3,413 million in 2007, a rise of 3% at constant currencies. Organic revenue was in line with the previous year, while key strategic acquisitions contributed growth of 3%.

The full press release on the full-year 2008 results is available here:

Wolters_Kluwer_Full-Year_2008_Results (PDF): http://hugin.info/130682/R/1293048/292739.pdf

This announcement was originally distributed by Hugin. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.



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