Publishing and events group Reed Elsevier reported that good momentum has continued through the first quarter and that growth was in line with last year.
The group's dominant scientific, technical and medical arm is on track to deliver another year of 'modest' growth, but the legal arm, second largest by revenue in 2012, sees limited scope for growth with customer markets subdued.
Good growth is expected in both risk solutions and business information units, although some uncertainty continues to dog the former.
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The exhibitions division, the smallest by sales in 2012, is in a cycling-out year with fewer biennial shows so despite 5-6% lower revenues, good growth is expect in US and Japan to compensate for a weak Europe.
Reed stated that it continued to make good progress on its strategy to transform the business into a "professional information solutions provider" and to improve the quality of earnings through organic development, with the portfolio also continuing to evolve through several acquisitions and disposals already so far in the three months to the end of March.
With cash generation strong, so far £181m of the promised £400m of share buybacks have been completed, with balance sheet further improved with the replacement of high coupon debt with a new bond issue.
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