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 (not included in the results for the Global Ranking 2017).
Wolters Kluwer was founded in 1836 and is active in over 190 countries. The company is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, and stock-listed on Euronext Amsterdam.
Analysis & Key Developments
Overall the group revenues at Wolters Kluwer increased during 2016 by 2% to 4.3 billion EUR from 4.2 billion EUR in 2015 in constant currencies. Currency had a slightly negative impact as the benefit of a stronger U.S. dollar was more than offset by the depreciation of the British pound and other currencies. Moreover the effect of disposals on revenues outweighed the effect of acquisitions.
Wolters Kluwer’s Legal & Regulatory segment declined during 2016 in line with the prior year. Overall the segment posted revenues amounting to 927 million EUR compared to 989 million EUR in 2015. On the contrary the adjusted operating profit increased from 96 million EUR to 111 million EUR in 2016. Throughout the year print formats and training services continued to decline. On the other hand digital product growth accelerated to 5%.
Revenues of Tax & Accounting grew by 4% to 1.2 billion EUR during the year, compared with 1.1 billion EUR in 2015. The segment’s print formats, online research, and learning tools remained weak.
The Health division revenues increased again, up to 6% in constant currencies, from 1 billion EUR to 1.1 billion EUR in 2016, due to 9% organic growth in Clinical Solutions. Adjusted operating profit increased by 9% to 271 million EUR. Margins benefitted from the mix shift toward Clinical Solutions and lower restructuring.
Revenues from the Governance, Risk & Compliance division, which was formed in 2015 and is not included in the 2017 Global Ranking revenue, totalled 1.2 billion EUR in 2016, against 1.1 billion EUR in the previous year. Therefore, revenues only increased by 3% in constant currencies as well as organic growth. The effect was mainly due to two small acquisitions, and was broadly offset by the disposal of an indirect lending platform.
In 2015 Wolters Kluwer restructured itself by expanding the Finance, Risk & Compliance division into the Governance, Risk & Compliance division. The newly introduced division includes Finance, Risk & Compliance, Transport Services, as well as synergies from the integration of Datacert and Tymetrix.
In January 2016 Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting announced the formation of a new customer-focused organization for North America. Jason Marx was appointed CEO of the new Tax & Accounting North America unit, which will combine all tax and accounting software businesses in North America, and will be organized by customer segment, including Small Firm Professionals, Medium and Large Firm Professionals, and Corporations.
In February 2016 the company acquired Triad Professional Services, LLC, a provider of U.S. legal and compliance products and services, to extend its position in key legal and compliance markets.
In April 2016, Tax & Accounting completed the acquisition of Tagetik, a provider of corporate performance and management solutions.
Also during April 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health acquired the adaptive learning technology supporting PrepU Quizzing Tool for nursing education.
In June 2016 Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting acquired CPE Link in order to expand learning solutions to appeal to a wide spectrum of tax professionals.
During July 2016 Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory finished the acquisition of Enablon, a compliance software provider.
In November 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health announced the complete acquisition of Emmi Solutions, a company that delivers interactive patient engagement solutions. Emmi was bought for a total net consideration of 158 million EUR in cash.
In July 2016 Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory completed the divestment of trade media assets in France. The assets were bought by Info6TM, a private B2B media company owned by Francois Grandidier.
Revenues for 2016 were generated in the following regions: The Netherlands (159 million EUR), Europe (excluding the Netherlands) (1.2 billion EUR), North America (2.6 billion EUR), Asia Pacific (247 million EUR). Revenues from the rest of the world were 84 million EUR.
Seventy-three percent of the company’s revenues came from digital media in 2016. Wolters Kluwer’s total digital revenues reached 3.2 billion EUR in 2016, an increase of 7% in constant currencies and 5% on an organic basis.