Reed’s 6 Months To 30 June 2014 Report Reveals A More Than Stagnant Lexis

This week we received a pdf detailing Reed’s latest figures for 2014. Exhibitions are showing a 9% growth but the politest way to describe the publishing businesses would be, “lacklustre”

Remember the days when Lexis would record 15-20% growth quarter in quarter out … now they are but a dim distant memory with revenue down a whopping 14% on this time last year

And we’d suggest that the words attached to Lexis’ performance detail an organisation in permanent decline unless somebody takes a further serious hatchet to the the business or they seriously re-evaluate company management structure and non performing markets.

Here at LLN we’d be interested to know how much money they’ve spent investing in China and how much they’ve managed to scrape back, whether Australia & NZ actually make any money at all and whether the cancer of permanent decline has ingrained itself in the UK market and last but not least how efficient they’ve been at taking advantage of the growing South American legal markets.

We know that things like portfolio re-shaping are important but how efficient have they actually been and is laying off people and piling more work on people who are already under pressure really that productive for the company

Here’s what they’ve detailed for Lexis


2014             £m668
2013             £m773
Change             -14%
Change Constant Currency       -7%
Change Underlying        +1%

Adjusted Operating Profit

2014             £m111
2013             £m109
Change             +2%
Change Constant Currency       +10%
Change Underlying        +5%

And the nice pie chart in the report for “underlying adjusted operating profit growth” tells us lexis has 1% growth

The words attached to the report seem similarly flimsy to the numbers for the 2014 half term report

They write

“Overall revenue trends unchanged;growth in online solutions largely offset by print declines”

“US & European markets remain subdued; other international markets saw good growth”

“New product releases and rollouts continued adoption and usage progressing well”

“H1 margin expansion reflects timing,process innovation, infrastructure decommissioning and portfolio reshaping”

Maybe there really are positives in the depths of this report and this is the bottom of the trough.

The end of year figures will bear this out eventually but in the meantime we’d suggest in premier league football (UK) terms that they need to dump David Moyes and find themselves a Louis Van Gaal .. and quickly too so that the team can be re-energised and move forward.