Reed Elsevier warns of ‘difficult’ 2009

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London—Reed Elsevier, owner of Reed Business Information, said Thursday that its revenue for 2008 totaled $6.721 billion euros ($8.462 billion), an increase (in constant currencies) of 7% over 2007. The company’s operating profit declined 6% (in constant currencies) to $1.135 billion euros ($1.429 billion). “2009 is clearly going to be a more difficult year with most the world’s largest economies in recession,” Reed Elsevier CEO Crispin Davis said in a statement.

Reed Elsevier owns many subscription information products, such as Lexis-Nexis and its recent acquisition, ChoicePoint. Davis said Reed Elsevier’s b-to-b marketer-supported properties, such as Reed Business Information and Reed Exhibitions, “are expected to show a significant profit decline this year, including the major effect in our exhibitions business of the net cycling out of biennial shows.”

Reed Business Information in the U.S. saw its 2008 revenue decline to 363 million euros ($457 million), a 5% drop in constant currencies. The business deteriorated in the fourth quarter, with revenue down 11%. Reed Elsevier reiterated its intention to divest Reed Business Information when the economy improves.

—Sean Callahan

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