Anglo-Dutch publishing giant Reed Elsevier has achieved a feat rare among its media peers in the present economic climate – double digit earnings growth for the second year in succession.

With internet sales topping £1bn in 2002, pre-tax profits before goodwill amortisation and exceptionals rose 11% to £927 million ($1,479.8m; €1,375.12m). Even after accounting for these charges, pre-tax profits rose 5% from £275m to £289m.

According to chief executive Crispin Davis [the former ceo of media and research holding company Aegis], the global medical publishing market is now worth up to $3 billion a year, shared with only one serious rival, Dutch group Wolters Kluwer.

Organic growth will be one of the group’s two main objectives in the year ahead, Davis said, during which period it also expects to meet its second target of above-average revenue growth in all four of its publishing divisions – Science & Medical, Legal, Education, and Business.

“The last three years have been spent putting the pieces together. I think over the next three to five years we need to capitalise on that,” Davis opined. “There should be no change in our existing strategy – focus on the four businesses, maximise growth and invest in products and marketing."

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff