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John Wiley & Sons' CEO Discusses F4Q2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: JW.A

Net debt, that’s long-term debt less cash and cash equivalents, was reduced from prior year by $37 million to $215 million including approximately $85 million of new debt to fund the Inscape acquisition. In addition, we returned $48 million to shareholders in the form of dividend and repurchased $87 million worth of treasury shares during the year. At the end of April, cash on hand was approximately $260 million.

Now I’d like to provide some information regarding the performance of Wiley’s global businesses. STMS revenue for the quarter was up 2% to $291 million mainly due to strong digital book sales, pay-per-view, research revenue, and the sale of journal rights partially offset by lower journal reprint and backfile revenue.

Direct contribution to profit grew 7% to $140 million in the quarter due to top line results, lower accrued incentive compensation and prudent expense management.

For the full-year, STMS revenue increased 2% on a currency neutral basis to $1.041 billion and was up 4% including the positive effect of foreign exchange. Revenue growth was driven by increased journal subscriptions, new journal society business, book growth and journal reprint revenue.

Digital book growth was partially offset by a decline in print book sales. Digital book sales including digital licensing now account for 21% of total STMS book sales up from 16% a year ago. Total digital revenue accounted 61% of full-year STMS revenue up from 59% a year ago. Journal subscription receipts for calendar year 2012 are showing roughly 3% growth with 95% of targeted business closed. Growth in Asia Pacific, EMEA and an improving picture in the Americas contributed to the results.

Direct contribution to profit for the 12 months rose 4% to $452 million. In the fourth quarter, STMS signed new contracts with society to publish two new journals and renewed or extended contracts to publish 16 journals. Only one journal contract with modest revenue was not renewed.

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