Reed Elsevier Group is a U.K. company equally owned by two parent companies, Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. Elsevier is the world-leading provider of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services. In 2012, Elsevier's STM division published 333,000 new research articles in nearly 2,000 journals, with over one million articles submitted for the first time in 2012. Elsevier’s ScienceDirect platform is the world’s largest database of scientific and medical research.

Elsevier’s Health & Science unit publishes over 20,000 reference titles, with 85% available electronically.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions, a newly introduced division of LexisNexis, is not included in this ranking.

Key Company Developments in 2012 & 2013


For fiscal 2012, Reed Elsevier CEO Erik Engstrom notified shareholders with positive results. Across all units, revenues rose by 2% to 6.12 billion GBP due to asystematic shift from print to digital business.

The revenue of Elsevier’s STM division experienced slight growth (+1%) in constant currencies, up five million GBP to 2.06 billion GBP in 2012. Sixty-eight percent was generated through electronic products. Adjusted operating profit accounts for 780 million GBP against 768 million GBP in 2011. Earnings before taxes rose from 1.39 billion GBP to 1.5 billion GBP (+8%). As in last year, growth was generated in primary research, databases and tools across scientific and medical segments, with particular strength in emerging markets.

Elsevier's Legal businesses closed with a loss of 1% at constant currencies at 1.61 billion GBP against 1.63 billion GBP in 2011. The adjusted operating profit grew from 229 million GBP to 234 million GBP. Challenging market conditions in the US and Europe and declining print revenues were offset by growing online sales.

Ownership, Mergers & Acquisition, Internal Organization:

Over the past three years, Elsevier spent an average of million GBP annually on acquisitions, focusing on electronic and face-to-face formats, with less than 10% of the acquired revenue in print format.

Most recently, Elsevier acquired the London-based start-up Mendeley for 65 million GDP. The group collaborated with the online platform, which enables research sharing for academics, since 2009. “It was founded in 2008 by three PhD students who wanted to develop an easier way to manage research papers and collaborate with colleagues overseas. They developed an app that could turn collections of PDFs into searchable research paper databases by extracting metadata and keywords.” The takeover aroused skepticism among users as to whether Mendeley will remain open.

In August 2012, Elsevier acquired the software provider Atria. In December 2012, Elsevier acquired Knovel, a web-based subscription reference service that provides highly technical data for the engineering community. The content spans over thirty subjects supplied by more than one hundred publishing partners. Most recently, Knovel added six new publishing partners. Elsevier further bolstered its clinical decision and support portfolio with the acquisition of ExitCare, a provider of patient education.

In August 2012, Elsevier combined the science and technology sector with its health sciences department.


52% of revenues were earned in North America in 2012 (-1%), 7% in the UK, 3% in the Netherlands, 19% from the rest of Europe, and 19% from all other countries.


The share of Elesevier’s revenue generated by electronic content and services is up to 64%, from 63% in 2011.

Bestselling Authors & Titles:

Flagship titles in the Health sector include works such as Gray’s Anatomy, Nelson’s Pediatrics, and Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy. Flagship products for legal research are and Lexis Advance, which provide federal and state statutes and case law, together with analysis and expert commentaries.

Earlier Developments:


Change for 2012 Ranking: A newly introduced division of LexisNexis, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, has NOT been included in this ranking, while the remaining part of LexisNexis has been included).

The revenue of Elsevier’s Health & Sciences sector was down 2% in constant currencies, from 1.01 billion GBP to 982 million GBP. Although sales of electronic tools grew steadily, with double-digit growth in the clinical decision support market, the unit faced a decreasing demand of print products and a continuing decline of pharmaceutical advertisement in Europe. The growth of Science & Technology, Elsevier’s second branch--up 4%, from 1,015 m pound to 1,076 m pound--was owed to strong sales of databases and analysis tools. In total, Elsevier’s revenue accounts for 2.06 billion GBP in 2011 against 2.03 billion GBP in 2010. While Elsevier operates on a global scale, LexisNexis Risk Solution achieved its 908 m pound earnings solely in North America, half from insurance products. International legal markets are served by Legal & Professional. Both of these divisions, which had been combined untill 2011, record a decline in revenue. Revenue at Legal & Professional fell from 1.69 billion GBP to 1.63 billion GBP, due to subdued sales, corporate customers, and print declines. Loses were balanced to some extent by new products that performed well in a stabilized legal market, but were accompanied with costs.

In December 2011, Elsevier acquired Ariadne Genomis, an analysis tool expected to meet the demands of pharmaceutical biotechnology research. Following Elsevier’s core mission to provide an efficient approach to scientific literature, the company bought QUOSA, a content management and workflow productivity solution provider, in January 2012.

Since January 1, 2011, LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Legal and Professional, which previously were combined as one business, operate as two standalone divisions.

By acquiring Dataong, the online provider of drug information, Elsevier has gained a presence in the Chinese clinical decision support market.

The share of Elsevier’s revenue generated by electronic content and services is up to 63%. Health & Science recorded a growth from 24% in 2007 to 40% in 2011 for electronic format, while 96% of the revenue for Lexis Nexis Risk Solution came from electronic services. Electronic sales for LexisNexis Legal & Professional were 75%.

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