Relx Group is a provider of information solutions for professional in many industries. It is owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV, which are listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, respectively. Shareholders in Reed Elsevier PLC own a 52.9% interest in Relx Group, while Reed Elsevier NV shareholders own a 47.1% interest.
Relx Group, formerly Reed Elsevier, is a UK registered media company and a global provider of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services. In 2015, the STM arm of Elsevier published 400,000 new research articles in more than 2,500 journals. Elsevier’s journals are primarily published and delivered through the ScienceDirect platform, the world’s largest database of scientific and medical research, which hosts over 13 million articles and 30,000 e-books.
CEO Erik Engstrom outlined the company’s growth and expansion strategy: "We are systematically migrating all of our businesses across RELX Group towards electronic decision tools, adding broader datasets, embedding more sophisticated analytics and leveraging more powerful technology, primarily through organic development. We are transforming our core business, building out new products and expanding into higher growth adjacencies and geographies. We are supplementing this organic development with selective acquisitions of targeted data sets and analytics, and assets in high-growth markets that support our organic growth strategies, and are natural additions to our existing businesses.“
Analysis & Key Developments
RELX Group’s positive financial performance continued throughout 2016. The company recorded revenues of 6.9 billion GBP, up 15%, against 6 billion GBP in 2015. The company saw an underlying revenue and profit growth across all four business areas of 4%. The underlying adjusted operating profit grew by 5%. Revenue by format for 2016 includes 72% from electronic (up 2%), 15% from face-to-face (maintained its position) and 13% from print (down 2 %). Engstrom noted: "We achieved good underlying revenue growth in 2016, and continued to generate underlying operating profit growth ahead of revenue growth, with underlying revenue and adjusted operating profit growth across all four business areas."
The STM segment closed fiscal year 2016 at 2.3 billion GBP, compared with 2 billion GBP in 2015. By geography, 42% of revenues were derived from North America, 26% from Europe and the remaining 32% from the rest of the world. Primary research again saw strong growth in usage and submission, and launched 64 new journals during 2016. The STM segment saw continued good growth in databases & tools, as well as in electronic reference products, and generated 79% of its revenues through electronic formats.
The Risk & Business Analytics revenues for the year ending December 31, 2016 were 1.9 billion GBPcompared with 1.6 billion GBP in 2015. In 2015, 36% of revenues were derived from subscription sales, 61% from transactional sales and 3% from advertising.
During 2016 the Legal segment continued to experience a slight growth in revenues for a total of 1.6 billion GBP (1.4 billion GBP in 2015). The margin increase reflects organic process improvement and the ongoing decommissioning of systems, largely offset by lower profits from joint ventures and other portfolio effects.
In April 2016 Carol Mils (Chair of the Board of Directors of Xactly Corporation and an Independent Director of Zynga Inc) and Robert MacLeod (Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey Plc) joined the Board of Directors as Non-Executive Directors.
Also in 2016 Andrew Matuch, who joined the company in 2012, was appointed new Chief Strategy Officer within the corporate executives.
The RELX Group continued to focus on acquisitions of select, targeted data sets and analytics, and assets in high growth markets that support the company’s organic growth strategies. RELX Group completed 17 small transactions, for a total of 369 million GBP, an increase from the past few years. The company also completed the disposal of a number of small, non-strategic assets for 16 million GBP. All in all the acquired businesses in 2016 contributed 29 million GBP to revenue, increased adjusted operating profit by 5 million GBP, decreased net profit by 15 million GBP, and contributed 9 million GBP to net cash inflow from operating activities for the past year under the Group’s ownership before taking account of acquisition financing costs.
The Group serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. In 2016, 55% of revenue by destination came from North America, 25% from Europe, and 20% from the rest of the world.
During 2016 the Legal business generated 82% of its revenues from electronic formats during 2016. Seventy-nine percent of the STM businesses and 92% of the Risk & Business Analytics segment revenues were achieved through electronic formats.