Nov 162006
 

Elsevier posted a trading update today. Key points:

  • The Elsevier, LexisNexis and Reed Business divisions are performing strongly in generally favourable market conditions. These businesses, which account for over 85% of Reed Elsevier’s adjusted operating profits, are continuing to show encouraging revenue momentum and good underlying margin improvement.
  • Harcourt Education division has however been impacted by underperformance in the Assessment business and a weak textbook market.
  • Elsevier is performing well in both the Science and Health markets. Subscription renewals have been strong, the second half book publishing programme is going well, and there is continued good growth in online product sales. Underlying operating margins are improving with good revenue growth and further cost efficiency.

The market marked Elsevier’s share price down ~4% in response to the Harcourt news:

“Shares in Reed Elsevier, the publishing group, fell on Thursday after it warned that revenues would be ”broadly flat“ at its US-based Harcourt Education subsidiary. The Anglo-Dutch company said in a trading statement that Harcourt had been hit by weaker textbook markets and an underperformance in its assessment division, which tests schoolchildren. Not only had there been cost overruns on some contracts but there had generally been fewer contracts to win. In addition, the business has had to pay penalties for some mistakes in its testing contracts. Margins at Harcourt are now likely to fall to 14 per cent from 18 per cent in 2005.” [FT.com]

Billionth ScienceDirect article downloaded yesterday

“In its first year, just over 300,000 full text articles were requested from the site by about 60 customer organisations. Now, in 2006 a record usage of more than 300 million articles has been achieved, downloaded by nearly 11 million users in 134 countries. The one billionth article download has also been counted by industry-standard measurements as Elsevier is fully COUNTER compliant”

Elsevier to expand eBooks programme
IWR reported a couple of days ago that

“Elsevier plans to launch 4,000 scientific and technical books online next year, a major expansion to the resources already available on STM database ScienceDirect .

”The expanded programme will include ebook titles published since 1995, with approximately 50 titles added to the ebooks list on ScienceDirect each month. Currently over 2,000 journals published by Elsevier are available.“

On the subject of ebooks, I blogged a note about Springer’s expanding ebook programme last week. Springer currently has 13,000 ebooks in its collection, far more than Elsevier.

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