Founded in 1836, Wolters Kluwer is a Dutch global information service company that is engaged in supporting professionals in the legal, business, tax, accounting, finance, audit, risk, compliance, and healthcare market. Four divisions provide information, software, and services: Legal Regulatory Tax Accounting, Health, and Governance, Risk Compliance (the last service being NOT including in the results for the Global Ranking 2018) serving customers in over 180 countries with operations in more than 40 countries worldwide. The company is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, and stock-listed on Euronext Amsterdam.
Analysis Key Developments
Wolters Kluwer’s group revenues for 2017 were valued at 4.42 billion EUR, up 3% in organic revenue growth and 5% in constant currencies, compared to the results in 2016. Adjusted operating profit grew 6% overall and 8% in constant currencies to 1.01 billion EUR.
Revenues of the Legal Regulatory segment declined by 10 million EUR to 917 million EUR during 2017, due to several disposals completed in the last two years and offset by the full-year inclusion of Enablon, a provider of Sustainability, EHS and Operational Risk Management Software (acquired in July 2016). Adjusted operating profit stayed almost flat at 110 million EUR compared to 111 million EUR in 2016.
Wolters Kluwer’s Tax Accounting revenues increased 10% in constant currencies from 1.16 billion EUR in 2016 to 1.26 billion EUR in 2017. As expected by the company print formats, bank products, and services revenues declined and the adjusted operating profit margin was broadly stable, with 27% in 2017.
Revenues of the Health division increased by 8% in constant currencies, from 1.11 billion EUR to 1.17 billion EUR. Clinical Solutions grew 10% organically and now exceed 50% of the divisional revenues. Meanwhile, Margin increased, primarily driven by efficiency measures and mix shift.
Revenues of the Governance, Risk Compliance division (formed in 2015) are not included in the 2017 Global Ranking revenue. They totaled 1.08 billion EUR in 2017 against 1.09 billion EUR in the previous year, although revenues in constant currencies increased by 1% reflecting two divestments.
In 2015 Wolters Kluwer restructured itself by expanding the Finance, Risk Compliance division into the Governance, Risk Compliance division. The newly introduced division includes Finance, Risk Compliance, Transport Services, as well as synergies from the integration of Datacert and Tymetrix.
In January 2016 Wolters Kluwer Tax Accounting announced the formation of a new customer-focused organization for North America. Jason Marx was appointed CEO of the new Tax Accounting North America unit, which combines all tax and accounting software businesses in North America, and is organized by customer segment, including Small Firm Professionals, Medium and Large Firm Professionals, and Corporations.
Wolters Kluwer has repurchased its own ordinary shares since February 2016, as part of a three-year share buyback program. This buyback program includes repurchases made to offset annual incentive share issuance. The cumulative shares repurchased under this three-year program will be 16,751,020 with a consideration of 632.1 billion EUR (37.74 EUR average share price).
In April 2017 the Wolters Kluwer’s Tax Accounting division completed the purchase of Tagetik, a provider of cloud financial and strategic CPM solutions.
In September 2017, the company’s Tax Accounting completed the acquisition of Adsolut, a provider of collaborative tax and accounting solutions for tax advisors and their clients in Belgium.
In January 2018 Wolters Kluwer signed an agreement to divest ProVation Medical, a provider of clinical knowledge and software for the healthcare sector.
Also in January 2018, the company completed the divestment of Swedish Assets to Karnov Group, a provider of legal and tax accounting information to businesses and professionals in Denmark and Sweden.
In November 2017, Wolters Kluwer Legal Regulatory sold its joint venture in Ipsoa Francis Lefebvre, an Italian publishing joint venture.
Moreover, Wolters Kluwer Governance, Risk Compliance announced in October 2011 the divestment of Corsearch, its trademark solutions business to Audax Private Equity for 140 million USD in cash.
In September 2017, Wolters Kluwer Legal Regulatory announced the divestment of certain UK information and publishing assets to the Peninsula Business Services Group for 9 million EUR, while continuing to serve its UK customers for legal regulatory software and international legal information.
In June 2017, Wolters Kluwer Governance, Risk Compliance completed the divestment of its Transport Services unit, for a consideration of 83 million EUR.
In 2017 the corporation’s revenues were generated in the following regions: The Netherlands, 170 million EUR, Europe (excluding the Netherlands), 1.2 billion EUR, North America, 2.71 billion EUR, Asia Pacific, 257 million EUR, and the rest of the world achieved 87 million EUR.
During 2017, 76% of the company’s revenues, up from 74% in 2016, came from digital media. Wolters Kluwer’s total digital revenues reached 3.36 billion EUR in 2017, compared to 3.15 billion EUR in 2016.