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John Wiley & Sons' CEO Discusses F1Q 2012 Results - Earnings Conference Call

Net debt was $353 million at the end of the quarter, down from $573 million a year earlier. During the quarter, Wiley repurchased 184,700 shares at a cost of $9.4 million. In June, Wiley increased its quarterly dividend by 25% to $0.20. It was the 18th consecutive annual increase.

Now I'd like to provide some information regarding the performance of Wiley's global businesses. STMS revenue of $253 million for the quarter increased 10% or 3% excluding the favorable effects of foreign exchange. Journal's revenue grew by 6.4% over prior year and by solid underlying subscription growth of 3.4% per calendar year 2011 receipts to date, strong publication flow, impressive back [file] sales growth and an excellent start to the year for corporate sales.

Institutional licensing business continues to grow accounting for 77% of total calendar year 2011 subscriptions versus the prior year of 72%.

The STMS book business was down by 2.5% against prior largely as a result of a one-time $5 million digital book sale to Saudi Arabia in the corresponding quarter of the prior year as discussed previously.

Direct contribution to profit for the quarter of $106 million was 13% ahead of prior year or 6% on a currency neutral basis. In the quarter, STMS signed new contracts with societies that published 14 new journals with combined annual revenue of $4 million and renewed or extended contracts to publish 36 journals with combined annual revenues of $5 million. No journal contracts were lost.

For the 12 months ended in July 2011, full [fixed] accesses on Wiley Online Library increased by 63% across all product types compared with the same period a year ago. During this period, usage of journals was up 64% and our books 86%.

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