Reed Elsevier Group is a UK registered company owned by two parent companies with equal shares, Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. Elsevier is the world-leading provider of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services and the fourth largest provider in the world of digital paid content. In 2013, the STM arm of Elsevier published 350,000 new research articles in more than 2,000 journals. Elsevier’s journals reached one million published articles 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, approximately 85% of which are available electronically.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions, a newly introduced subdivision of LexisNexis, is not included in this ranking, but the remainder of LexisNexis is included.

Key Company Developments in 2013 & First Half 2014


Reed Elsevier reported a revenue decline of 1% to 6.04 billion GBP, or 3% at constant exchange rates, reflecting disposals made across the businesses. Adjusted operating profits grew 4% to 1.75 billion GBP.

STM experienced strong volume growth in subscription renewals and new sales. Underlying revenues were up 2% and operating profit grew 3%. Print book sales and pharma promotion continued to decline, reflecting a combination of format migration and structural changes in the pharmaceutical industry.

Legal experienced gains despite subdued market conditions in the US and Europe. Electronic revenue growth was offset by print declines.

Business Information saw revenue and profit declines due to the divestment of operations not in line with the paid content strategy, including Marketing Solutions businesses and publishing in Australia, France, Spain and Italy.

Ownership, Mergers & Acquisition, Internal Organization

CEO Duncan Palmer resigned from the board due to family circumstances. His successor is Nick Luff, former CEO at British energy group Centrica plc.

In 2013 Elsevier completed the integration of Mendeley, an online reference management and collaboration solution.

LexisNexis Legal & Professional and Reed Elsevier Properties SA acquired Sheshunoff’s publishing brands and businesses, gaining critical information for the financial services industry. Reed Elsevier also acquired banking and commercial publisher A.S. Pratt from the Thompson Media Group for an undisclosed sum in May 2013.

In August 2013, Elsevier acquired Woodhead Publishing Limited, a U.K.-based publisher of professional science and technology content.

Reed Elsevier’s strategy is to shift toward digital, resulting in the removal of print magazines under Business Information.

STM sold Elsevier Business Intelligence and a number of small print and pharma-focused assets.


The North American market made up 51% of corporate revenues, Europe 28% and rest of the world 21%. In the US and in Europe, conditions remained subdued, with growth in online solutions largely offset by continued print declines. Electronic revenues and other international markets achieved solid growth.


By the end of 2013, 66% of corporate revenues were generated through electronic sales, 15% through face-to-face solutions, and sales of print products cover 19%. In the STM segment electronic revenues grew “strongly” and now account for 72% of total revenues. Legal electronic solutions now account for 60% of revenue outside the US. The digital share of all Legal revenues account for 76%.

Earlier Developments

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 Lexis.comand Lexis Advance, which provide federal and state statutes and case law, together with analysis and expert commentaries.

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