Wolters Kluwer is a Dutch global information service company that provides information, software, and services to the legal, business, tax, accounting, finance, audit, risk, compliance, and healthcare markets under four divisions: Legal & Regulatory Tax & Accounting, Health, and Financial & Compliance Services. The company was founded in 1836 and is active in over 190 countries and listed on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange. Its headquarteres are in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands.
Analysis & Key Developments
Group revenues at Wolters Kluwer increased 3% overall to 3.66 billion EUR from 3.56 billion EUR in 2013, driven by North America and Asia Pacific markets. With the exception of Tax & Accounting, all divisions contributed to revenue growth.
Legal & Regulatory posted revenues of 1.6 billion EUR, an increase of 4% at constant currencies, due to the net transfer of certain publishing assets from Tax & Accounting and acquisitions (Datacert and LexisNexis Poland in 2014) and divestments (Best Case Solutions in 2013 and Canadian legal assets in 2014).
Tax & Accounting revenues declined 1% in constant currencies from 965 million EUR to 946 million EUR in 2014 due to the transfer of publishing assets from Tax & Accounting to the Legal & Regulatory division.
The Health division achieved double-digit growth from Clinical Solutions, causing revenues to increase 5% in constant currencies from 775 million EUR to 816 million EUR, all of which was organic growth. Wolters Kluwer continued to invest to transform the traditional parts of the business.
Revenues at Financial & Compliance Services rose 6% in constant currencies, from 378 million EUR to 401 million EUR in 2014. The result was boosted by acquisitions, most notably Financial Tools in January 2014. On an organic basis, revenues grew 4%, driven by strong software license and professional services sales in the fourth quarter.
In April 2014, Wolters Kluwer acquired the remaining shares of Datacert, a global leader in the rapidly evolving legal management market.
In September 2014, Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory completed the acquisition of LexisNexis legal business in Poland and divestmed its Canadian legal publishing activities.
Also in September, Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting acquired Dingxin Chuangzhi, a leading Chinese audit software provider. The move is in line with Wolters Kluwer’s strategy to expand its high growth position in tax and accounting software and broadens the existing Wolters Kluwer China tax and accounting product portfolio. Dingxin Chuangzhi has 50 employees and serves over 1,000 clients.
In January 2015, Tax & Accounting acquired accounting and payroll solutions SBS Software, which was added to Wolters Kluwer’s software business in Germany.
“Emerging and high-growth geographic markets are a priority for Wolters Kluwer,” said CEO and Chairman Nancy McKinstry in the company’s Annual Report. “We aim to increase our penetration in the fast-growing BRIC geographies. With this in mind, we refined the organizational structure of our Emerging & Developing Markets group that was implemented in 2013, to now also include China.” Wolters Kluwer expanded its presence through the acquisition of Beijing-based audit software provider Dingxin Chuangzhi.
Across the group, digital products continued to drive the group’s growth. Total digital revenues reached 2.47 billion EUR, up 8% in constant currencies and 6% organically.