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Reed Elsevier Plc's CEO Discusses Q2 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

My next chart sets out how the underlying operating profit performance is derived from changes in revenue and in the cost base. In Elsevier, underlying cost grew 1% against revenues up 2% to deliver the 4% profit growth. Cost increases from business growth and spending on new product and market initiatives were largely offset by tight cost control. At Risk Solutions, underlying cost growth was 2%, also reflecting the business growth and continued investment in new product initiatives offset by further cost savings, particularly in technology integration. This converted the 4% underlying revenue growth to 6% profit growth. In Legal & Professional, underlying profits were 2% lower on 1% revenue growth with underlying cost growth of 1% with increased spending on new product initiatives and in sales and marketing mitigated by continuing cost actions. In Reed Exhibitions, lower revenues and profits were driven by the next cycling out of biennial exhibitions. The cost reduction of 2% would have been greater, but for the accelerated launch program and higher show spend as markets recover.

At RBI, underlying costs were flat reflecting the cost actions taken to streamline the business while the business returned to revenue growth at 2%. This gave underlying profit growth of 12%. Overall, underlying cost growth for Reed Elsevier in the first half was 1%. Taking into account the disposal of marginal and unprofitable businesses, total cost for Reed Elsevier declined 2% first half-on-first half at constant currencies to deliver the 3% overall profit increase on slightly lower revenues.

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