Q2 Numbers for the Major Publishers

I don’t normally post market numbers, but with Reed and Thomson posting interestingly contrasting second quarter results this morning, one has to wonder what these numbers mean for consumers of legal information.

Reed Elsevier H1 beats expectations; on track to meet FY targets. Anglo-Dutch publisher Reed Elsevier PLC reported higher-than-expected first half profits, as strong growth in online revenues and from publishing and information businesses offset a fall in profit at the group’s US education unit.

Thomson Second-Quarter Net Falls After Year-Ago Gain
July 27 Thomson Corp., owner of the Westlaw legal research and TradeWeb financial services, said second- quarter net income fell 43 percent from a year ago, when tax credits accounted for more than a third of profit.

Reed Elsevier

Reed said it is on track to meet its full year targets. Adjusted pretax profit in the six months to end June rose 14 % to 446 million pounds, up from 395 million pounds a year ago. Revenue rose 8 % to 2.63 billion pounds from 2.37 bln and Reed increased its dividend by 11 % to 4.1 pence. Total digital revenues were 15 % higher than a year ago, and accounted for 37 % of total revenues.

Reed Business, increased revenues by 9 %, helped by growth in exhibitions and online sales, while Reed’s legal information services business, LexisNexis, increased revenues by 9 % to 768 million pounds. LexisNexis North America saw underlying revenue growth of 8%. In US Legal Markets, strong subscription renewals and additional online information and solutions sales to both large and small law firms drove organic revenue growth of 7%. The LexisNexis International business outside the US saw underlying revenue growth of 7% driven by further penetration of online information services across its markets and new online content and legal workflow solutions in the UK, France, Germany and South Africa.


Profit slid to $173 million, or 26 cents a share, from $302 million, or 46 cents, a year earlier, Toronto-based Thomson said today in a statement. Thomson had $137 million in tax gains last year from overpaying in the past. Excluding that and other one- time items, profit rose to 34 cents from 23 cents, Thomson said.

The Legal and Regulatory group continued to deliver strong growth, achieving 8% organic growth in the quarter. Revenues increased 9%, to $923 million, and segment operating profit grew 13%, to $277 million. Organic revenue grew 8% and growth from acquisitions was 1%.

Thomson’s North American legal products and services continued to achieve strong revenue growth across all customer segments, led by strength in Westlaw driven by the Litigator suite of products. In addition, products and services focused on the business of law and the transactional practice area also contributed to growth. FindLaw continues to grow in the client development market.

Revenue in the Thomson tax and accounting business was also up significantly, led by Checkpoint, InSource and UltraTax, reflecting strong new subscription sales and higher retention levels.

Print and CD sales declined 2% in the quarter in line with expectations. As part of the normal business cycle, print and CD sales are expected to comprise a greater percentage of the group’s total revenue in the second half of the year.


  1. I think it’s safe to assume that regardless what the returns are, that prices will be going up.

  2. There may not be a discrepancy, Simon. If I read it correctly, profit, excluding special factors such as tax credits, is up 48% at Thomson (to 43 cents from 23). Other details show Thomson either beating or matching Reed (LexisNexis, increased revenues by 9 %; Thomson Legal and Regulatory : Revenues increased 9%).

    This is an interesting article though. I think we all have an interest in the competition between these sources. Great Post!!