(Adds CEO and analyst comment, details; updates share movement)
Feb 21 British business media group Informa Plc
reported a 3 percent rise in full-year profit, helped by
stronger performance at its publishing business in the second
The company, which publishes academic journals and books and
provides real-time news, research and market data, said it
would focus on delivering growth in 2014 despite a stronger
Informa, which gets a bulk of its revenue from the United
States, sold its corporate training businesses for $180 million
last July to focus on its core events and academic publishing
The company said it there would be "measured change and
operational focus" in 2014, but did not provide specific details
on further divestments that some analysts were expecting.
"This is a people business that has been run by one person
for 25 years in one way," Chief Executive Stephen Carter said.
Carter took over from long-time CEO Peter Rigby in January.
"I am not approaching this with an agenda of fast
ill-thought through radical change," said Carter, formerly the
chief of Britain's media watchdog, Ofcom.
The group, which has over 55,000 titles and dates back to
1734 with the first London shipping list, said adjusted pretax
profit from continuing operations rose to 307.6 million pounds
($512.44 million) in the year ended Dec. 31 from 298.2 million
pounds a year earlier.
Organic revenue from continuing operations rose 1.5 percent
to 1.13 billion pounds.
Organic revenue in its academic publishing business rose 5.3
percent to account for a third of total revenue. In the events
business, which organises exhibitions, organic revenue rose 3
Organic revenue in its business intelligence unit, which
provides data and analysis to the healthcare, pharmaceutical,
and financial services among others sectors, fell 4 percent.
Carter said he would focus on bringing the business
intelligence unit back to growth after two years of declines in
"In our view, the aim must be to redeploy resources towards
those businesses that have the greatest potential to increase
the pedestrian 1.5 percent underlying organic growth," Peel Hunt
analyst Malcom Morgan said in a note.
Informa shares rose as much as 3.5 percent in early trading
on the London Stock Exchange but lost some of those gains to
trade up 1.5 percent at 530 pence at 1045 GMT.
($1 = 0.6003 British pounds)
(Reporting by Abhirup Roy in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya
Kurane and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)