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RELX - Increases dividend & buybacks after another year of growth

Steve Clayton | 25 February 2016 | A A A
RELX - Increases dividend & buybacks after another year of growth

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RELX plc Ord 14 51/116p

Sell: 2,182.00 | Buy: 2,184.00 | Change -2.00 (-0.09%)
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RELX this morning issued full year results for the year to December 2015. The share price fell by 0.66% in early trading.

Underlying group revenue increased 3% to £5,971m. Underlying adjusted operating profit increased 5%, with adjusted earnings per share up 8% at constant currency.

RELX announced further returns to shareholders, increasing the share buy-back program from £500m in 2015 to £700m for 2016, with the total dividend for the year due to increase 14% to 29.7p. This gives a yield of close to 2.5% at the current share price of circa 1210p.

The early indicators so far in 2016 show the continuation of 2015's trends, across all divisions. RELX are confident of 'delivering another year of underlying revenue, profit, and earnings growth in 2016'.

Divisional Performance (underlying, adjusted basis, constant currency)

Scientific, Technical & Medical: Revenue growth was +2% with operating profit up 3%. Margins declined slightly reflecting the adverse effects of exchange rate movements. Primary research again saw 'strong growth' while print book declines continued in line with the prior year.

Risk & Business Analytics: Revenue and operating profit growth was 7%, with 'strong growth in all key segments'. Operating margins increased from 35.2% to 35.9%

Legal: A margin increase from 18.6% to 19% led to operating profits rising 7% while revenue growth 'remained modest' at 1%. US and European markets remained stable, and the trend towards electronic revenues, which now make up 79% of sales, continued.

Exhibitions: 'Strong underlying revenue growth' of 5%, before "cycling out" of some biennial exhibitions reduced this to 1%, with a 90pbs increase in operating profit margin helping operating profits increase 2%. Growth in Japan and the US 'remained strong', Europe saw 'moderate' growth, while China was variable by sector and Brazil weaker. In 2016 RELX expect 'cycling in effects to increase the reported revenue growth rate by around 3 percentage points'.

This article is not advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any investment. No view is given on the present or future value or price of any investment, and investors should form their own view on any proposed investment. This article has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is considered a marketing communication. Non-independent research is not subject to FCA rules prohibiting dealing ahead of research, however HL has put controls in place (including dealing restrictions, physical and information barriers) to manage potential conflicts of interest presented by such dealing. Please see our full non-independent research for more information.