April 24, 2013 / 7:21 AM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-Reed reassures market with earnings growth pledge

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) - Anglo-Dutch publisher Reed Elsevier said it expected to grow earnings in 2013 after reporting first quarter underlying revenue growth in line with last year.

Underlying revenue growth for the full year 2012 was 4 percent, once the impact of biennial exhibition timing had been stripped out.

“From a consensual perspective this is exactly what the market was looking for,” said David Reynolds, Equity Analyst at Jefferies. “There was some caution in the business division statements, but you could argue that they were just being conservative.”

The publisher of scientific, business and academic information said in a trading update on Wednesday that it expected 2013 to be another year of underlying revenue, profit, and earnings growth.

That was despite the outlook for the macro environment, and its impact on the company’s customer markets, being mixed, it said.

The company expects its scientific, technical & medical business, its biggest contributor to revenue, to deliver another year of modest underlying revenue growth in 2013.

That should help to offset the more subdued customer markets within its legal division, with the business hit by declines in print revenues.

The publisher, which employs 30,000 people worldwide, said because some of its major events were not scheduled for 2013 as part of a biennial cycle, it expected underlying revenue growth in its exhibitions business to fall by 5-6 percentage points in 2013.

Shares in the company, which is part of the FTSE 100, were flat in early trading on Wednesday.

Reed Elsevier Group PLC is owned equally by two parent companies, Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV and the combined market capitalisation of the two parent companies is 17.4 billion pounds ($26.6 billion).

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