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Relx revenue and profit hit by loss in exhibitions business

By BFN News | 07:23 AM | Thursday 23 July, 2020

Scientific information provider Relx has announced lower revenue and operating profit as its exhibitions business was 'significantly impacted' by Covid-19 and moved to a loss in the first half. In its interim results for the six months to 30 June 2020, the company reported revenue of £3.5bn, down 10%. Its three largest business areas, STM, risk and business analytics and legal, which together accounted for 84% of revenue and 87% of adjusted operating profit in full-year 2019, reported combined first-half revenue of £3.3bn, while the company said that all three business areas continued to deliver underlying revenue growth. Relx said its exhibitions business, which accounted for 16% of revenue and 13% of adjusted operating profit in full-year 2019, was 'significantly impacted' by Covid-19 in the first half of 2020, with revenue of £201m, down from £684m in the prior year. Adjusted operating profit for the period was £939m, a decline of 24% as its three largest business areas reported combined first-half adjusted operating profit of £1,056m, with all three delivering underlying growth. However, it said that exhibitions moved into a loss during the first half of £117m, from a £231m profit in the same period a year earlier, and warned that the outlook for the remainder of 2020 for this business area 'remains highly uncertain'. Relx announced an interim dividend of 13.6p, which is unchanged from the prior year. It said that the board does not intend to resume the share buyback programme this year, which it previously announced was suspended in April after £150m had been spent. Chief executive Erik Engstrom said: 'Exhibitions has responded well to a challenging environment, and remains focused on serving its customers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. 'At the peak of the pandemic nearly all of our offices were closed and 97% of our 33,000 employees in over 40 countries were working remotely. We have now opened nearly half of our offices, and around 50% of our employees have the option to come into the office on a regular basis.' Story provided by

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