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Feb. 26, 2020, 2:20 a.m. EST

Wolters Kluwer profit rises, plans buyback

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By Adria Calatayud

Wolters Kluwer NV said Wednesday that its net profit for last year rose 2% on higher revenue and margins, and it will buy back shares worth 350 million euros ($380.1 million) this year.

The Dutch provider of professional information made a net profit of EUR669 million in 2019 compared with EUR656 million a year before.

Revenue rose to EUR4.61 billion from EUR4.26 billion in 2018, benefiting from a stronger dollar and growth across all regions, the company said. On an organic basis, revenue grew 4%.

Adjusted earnings per share were EUR2.90, up 11% at constant-currency exchanges, Wolters Kluwer said. The company had guided for constant-currency growth in adjusted EPS of around 10%.

Wolters Kluwer's adjusted operating profit margin for 2019 rose by 50 basis points to 23.6%, ahead of guidance of between 23.0% and 23.5%.

Wolters Kluwer said it plans to buy back EUR350 million in shares in 2020, of which EUR50 million have already been purchased, following a EUR350 million share-repurchase program last year.

The company expects mid to high single-digit growth in adjusted EPS at constant-currency exchanges and an adjusted operating profit margin of between 23.5% and 24.0%, it said.

The board raised its final dividend to EUR0.79 from EUR0.64 in 2018.

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