Reed Elsevier impresses on high demand for its journals

PUBLISHING group Reed Elsevier posted better than expected first-half results yesterday after seeing a revival in subscriptions to its scientific and health publications.

The Anglo-Dutch business and academic publisher and events manager said pre-tax profit rose six per cent to £662m compared with a year ago, but revenues fell three per cent to £2.9bn.

Its operating margin increased, while underlying revenues showed a marginal one per cent growth as it said most of its cyclical businesses were recovering.

Chief executive Erik Engstrom said it had benefited from global growth in scientific and medical research, which saw more spent on research information. “With positive momentum across our businesses, we continue to expect a gradual improvement in performance,” he said.

Its academic journal publishing division Elsevier, which makes 44 per cent of the group’s operating profit, saw four per cent underlying profit growth, while its LexisNexis Risk Solutions business intelligence arm had six per cent profit growth .

Its exhibition business showed strong ten per cent underlying revenue growth once the effect of events held only every second year was stripped out. The division’s operating profit fell eight per cent.