* 2013 earnings at bottom end of analysts' forecast range
* Sees single-digit growth in 2014 EPS, lower profit margin
* Shares fall more than 4 pct
AMSTERDAM, Feb 19 Wolters Kluwer sees
lower profit margins this year as weakness in its European
markets persists and the Dutch specialist publisher said on
Wednesday it will outsource and sell more of its businesses to
The company - whose publications and software are used by
doctors, bankers, accountants and lawyers - said some of its tax
and accounting business, its second-largest, will be outsourced
and it will keep streamlining through acquisitions and
Wolters' shares fell more than 4 percent after it reported
2013 earnings at the lower end of forecasts, and it said it saw
low, single-digit growth in earnings per share and a lower
profit margin in 2014.
Cost-cutting measures were expected to reduce the ordinary
earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) margin to
within a range of 20.5 to 21.5 percent in 2014.
Last year, its ordinary EBITA margin - or the margin for
EBITA adjusted for exceptional items - was 21.5 percent, at the
bottom of its target range of 21.5 to 22.0 percent, and
unchanged from 2012.
Chief Executive Nancy McKinstry said the restructuring
measures would cost about 25 to 30 million euros and include an
unspecified number of job cuts and ending of some suppliers'
contracts at the tax and accounting division.
Wolters Kluwer, which competes with Reuters' owner Thomson
Reuters and with Anglo-Dutch information group Reed
Elsevier , will keep targetting more
profitable, digital content in Europe, she said.
"We've been restructuring over the last couple of years and
right-sizing the business. Our digital and services business now
accounts for 77 percent of revenue and saw 4 percent growth last
year," she said.
Print revenues fell to 23 percent of the total in 2013 from
26 percent in 2012.
Last year it sold its traditional print business in the
Netherlands and spent 192 million euros on acquisitions
including Prosoft, a tax and accounting software provider based
in Brazil. North America accounts for just over half of group
sales, with Europe at about 40 percent and a small percentage
The company said ordinary earnings before interest, tax and
amortisation (EBITA), slipped 1 percent to 765 million euros on
revenue of 3.565 billion euros, also down 1 percent.
Analysts, according to a Reuters poll, expected ordinary
EBITA of 776 million euros on revenue of 3.597 billion.