Wolters Kluwer, a market-leading global information services company focused on professionals, today released its 2009 full-year results.
Highlights include growing revenues, a solid operating margin, and strong free cash flow.
- Revenue growth of 2% to €3,425 million; underlying revenue down 3% reflecting the economy's impact on transactional and cyclical product lines
- Electronic revenues grew 8% and now represent 52% of total revenues
- Ordinary EBITA margin of 20% in line with guidance
- Springboard program delivered an incremental €68 million in savings, exceeding expectations
- Free cash flow up 7% with strong cash conversion of 96%, exceeding guidance
- Diluted ordinary earnings per share were €1.45 (€1.41 in constant currencies in line with guidance)
- Net debt reduced by 11%, net-debt-to-EBITDA ratio reduced to 2.9 times
- Proposed dividend up 2% to €0.66 per share
* Strategy 2010-2012 Maximizing Value for Customers sets path to capture growth opportunities
* Outlook for 2010: Good growth in electronic revenues continues, improving ordinary EBITA margin, strong free cash flow, and diluted ordinary earnings per share of €1.41-€1.45 at constant currencies.
Nancy McKinstry, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board, commented on the performance:
"Wolters Kluwer delivered good operating performance in 2009 despite continued challenging economic conditions. Our resilient subscription portfolio delivered good performance underpinned by stable retention rates and solid growth in electronic and services subscription revenues. Our strong growth in cash flow and solid operating margins supports our continued investment of 8-10% of our revenues in future growth opportunities.
2009 marked the completion of our 2006-2009 strategy. We have successfully transformed our portfolio by growing online and software solutions, extending our market positions in high-growth adjacent segments, and leveraging our global scale to achieve operating efficiencies.
Looking forward, we expect 2010 to be characterized by a slow but steady economic recovery. In this context, electronic revenues are expected to continue to deliver good growth as our customers increasingly demand intelligent workflow tools, pressures on our transactional and cyclical revenues will ease with better market conditions, and our Springboard operational excellence program will continue to deliver further benefits, supporting continuous improvement in our operating performance. Our clear strategic focus as well as our strong balance sheet supports our long-term strategy for growth."
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