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Reed Elsevier Sales Decline on Sold Assets, Currency Swings

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July 28 (Bloomberg) -- Reed Elsevier Plc, the owner of the LexisNexis database, said first-half revenue fell 3 percent on currency swings and as the company sold some assets.

Sales declined to 2.9 billion pounds ($4.74 billion) from 2.99 billion pounds a year earlier, the London-based company said in a statement. Analysts had forecast 2.93 billion pounds, according to the average of eight estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Adjusted for disposals and currency swings, sales rose 1 percent.

Reed Elsevier last year sold off chunks of its trade magazine unit, Reed Business Information, including all U.S. publishing operations except Variety magazine. At the same time, the company has increased investment in product development and sales and marketing to tap growth in electronic data offerings.

Earnings, adjusted to exclude acquisitions and other charges, rose to 22.3 pence per share from 21.3 pence a year earlier, beating analysts’ 21.2-pence estimate from the Bloomberg survey.

Sales at the company’s business information unit fell 8 percent and rose 2 percent on an adjusted basis. The unit had strong growth in data services and online marketing solutions, while still facing “difficult” print advertising markets, the company said.

Reed Elsevier also has divested publishing assets including the Computer Weekly trade publication and the Excerpta Medica medical communications agency.

Reed Elsevier fell 1 percent to 554 pence in London trading. The shares have gained 2.3 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in London at athomson6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net