Magazine disposals pay off for trade publisher Reed Elsevier

PUBLISHING giant Reed Elsevier showed yesterday that a plan to dispose of most of its print operations is paying off, as it said all aspects of its business had grown in 2012.

The FTSE 100 firm got rid of Hollywood magazine Variety this year, and has sold other trade publications such as Publishers Weekly in a bid to hive off parts of the firm that rely on advertising. However, it is holding on to the successful New Scientist.

The remaining Reed Elsevier divisions, including research service LexisNexis and the Gray’s Anatomy medical textbook, drove the company to a four per cent rise in underlying revenue in the nine months to October.

The firm’s exhibitions business, which hosts international trade fairs, saw 15 per cent growth, while its financial data publishing operations also put in a strong showing.

“In the first nine months of 2012 we have made good progress in systematically transforming our business, primarily through organic investment, supplemented by selective portfolio developments,” the company’s chief executive Erik Engstrom said. The company’s print business now makes up just a fifth of revenues.

Shares, currently trading at four-year highs, dipped one per cent.