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Relx, formerly known as Reed Elsevier, has recorded another year of steady growth with the weaker pound boosting the top line of the Anglo-Dutch group, which also announced a new £700m share buyback.
The company bought back £700m last year and £500m in 2015.
The FTSE 100 group said revenue grew 15 per cent year-on-year to £6.9bn last year, although this was 4 per cent on an underlying basis when the effects of foreign exchange swings were stripped out. Relx earns about half its revenues in the US, which when converted into pounds gave a higher result.
Net income grew 15 per cent to £1.16bn.
Relx is the world’s largest provider of scientific and legal information, and a leading exhibitions organiser. Over the past 10 years it has sold off the majority of its business and trade magazines in a move away from print and towards online subscriber-based information and data services.
The risk and business analytics division, whose decision-making tools help banks spot money launderers and insurance companies weed out fraudulent claims, remained one of the fastest-growing businesses with annual revenues up 19 per cent to £1.9bn. However the exhibitions business was the star performer with revenue growing 22 per cent to £1.05bn.
Erik Engstrom, chief executive, said:
We achieved good underlying revenue growth in 2016, and continued to generate underlying operating profit growth ahead of revenue growth, with underlying revenue and adjusted operating profit growth across all four business areas.
Our strategy is unchanged: Our number one priority remains the organic development of increasingly sophisticated information-based analytics and decision tools that deliver enhanced value to our customers.
Relx, which is dual-listed in London and Amsterdam, raised the dividend for shareholders in its London-listed business by 21 per cent to 35.95p, also reflecting the drop in the pound against the euro. Shareholders in the Dutch-listed businesses will receive a dividend of €0.423, up 5 per cent year-on-year.