November 8, 2012 / 8:07 AM / 5 years ago

Reed Elsevier 9 month underlying sales up 4 pct

AMSTERDAM, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Professional publishing and events group Reed Elsevier Plc/NV said underlying revenue growth for the first nine months of the year was up 4 percent, driven by each of its five business areas.

Reed Elsevier, which provides professional information for scientists, lawyers, academics and doctors, said it is on track to deliver full-year underlying revenue and earnings growth in line with expectations.

"In the first nine months of 2012 we have made good progress in systematically transforming our business," said Chief Executive Erik Engstrom on Thursday.

Reed Elsevier has been pursuing a strategy of gradually disposing of operations that it cannot develop into global scale, or which are dependent on advertising markets, having failed to sell its large trade magazines division wholesale some years ago.

The Anglo-Dutch group said it intends to continue to transform the business through organic development, and by disposing of businesses that no longer fit into its strategy, without naming potential divestments.

It said it expects disposals to be mildly dilutive to earnings per share in the short term and intends to use divestment proceeds to buy back shares, to mitigate the impact.

Based on transactions either completed or underway so far this year, Reed said it is raising the amount of money for share buybacks for 2012 to 250 million pounds (310 million euros), of which 158 million has already been deployed.

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