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 15% overall to 4.21 billion EUR from 3.66 billion EUR in 2014, driven by North America and Europe. With the exception of Legal & Regulatory, all divisions contributed to revenue growth:
Legal & Regulatory revenues declined 5% at constant currencies from 1 billion EUR to 989 billion EUR, in part due to the effect of recent divestments. The adjusted operating profit margin contracted due to increased costs, including a planned step up in restructuring programs to drive efficiencies.
Tax & Accounting posted revenues of 1.13 billion EUR (including the transferred Audit unit), an increase of 4% in constant currencies, supported by steady organic growth of 3% and the effect of bolt-on acquisitions.
The Health division’s revenues increased by 6% in constant currencies, from 816 million EUR to 1.02 billion EUR in 2015 due to growth in Clinical Solutions. Adjusted operating profit increased 4% organically, and margins were maintained, as the benefits of operating leverage and mix shift were offset by increased investment and restructuring.
Revenues of the newly formed Governance, Risk & Compliance division totaled 1.07 billion EUR, against 854 billion EUR in the previous year, an increase of 7% in constant currencies with organic growth of 5%.
Wolters Kluwer expanded the Finance, Risk & Compliance division into the Governance, Risk & Compliance division in 2015. The new division includes Finance, Risk & Compliance, Transport Services, as well as synergies from the integration of Datacert and Tymetrix.
In January 2015, Tax & Accounting completed the acquisition of SBS Software, a German provider of accounting and payroll solutions with 100 employees and over 6,000 customers.
In June, Wolters Kluwer absorbed SureTax, a provider of comprehensive and technologically advanced tax calculation engines for the US telecommunications market.
Effacts was added to Wolters Kluwer in the Netherlands in July.
In September, Wolters Kluwer Health completed the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Learner’s Digest International, a U.S. continuing medical education provider. The company has become an operating unit of Wolters Kluwer Health Learning, Research & Practice (HLRP).
The company intends to “accelerate [an] ongoing shift to global platforms and cloud-based, integrated solutions that offer mobile access….to create an all-round, rich end-to- end digital experience for our customers,” according to Nancy McKinstry, CEO & Chairman of Executive Board.
Digital products continued to drive the group’s growth across all divisions. Total digital revenues reached 2,96 million EUR, up 7% in constant currencies and up 6% organically.