Anglo-Dutch publishing giant Reed Elsevier believes its earnings growth will slow next year as market conditions remain weak.
The owner of such diverse properties as US showbiz bible Variety and the respected New Scientist magazine predicts that earnings per share will rise by a single-digit percentage in 2004, after double-digit gains for the last three years.
Its business publishing division -- which generates around 28% of the group's revenues -- is not expecting "any real upturn" next year. Although the rate of advertising decline has slowed, there is still no indication of an upturn.
The performance of Reed's Harcourt education arm is expected to be flat in 2004, though the group is forecasting a better year for its legal and science divisions. Earnings will also be hit by the addition of $50 million (€41m; £29m) to its 2004 investment budget.
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff