Source: RNS
RNS Number : 8279G
29 July 2021


29 July 2021




RELX, the global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools, reports results for the first half of 2021 and updates the full year outlook.



Ø Revenue £3,394m (£3,501m), constant currency growth +4%

Ø Adjusted operating profit £1,023m (£990m), constant currency growth +11%

Ø Adjusted profit before tax £953m (£909m), constant currency growth +13%

Ø Reported operating profit £860m (£747m)

Ø Reported profit before tax £825m (£666m)

Ø Adjusted EPS 40.0p (39.1p), constant currency growth +10%

Ø Interim dividend 14.3p (13.6p) +5%

Ø Reported EPS 34.5p (28.4p)

Ø Net debt/EBITDA 2.8x; adjusted cash flow conversion 112%


Full year 2021 outlook

Based on the improved performance in Risk, STM and Legal in the first half, we expect full year underlying growth rates in revenue and adjusted operating profit, as well as constant currency growth in adjusted earnings per share, to be slightly above historical trends.



Chief Executive Officer, Erik Engstrom, commented:


"RELX delivered a strong first half with underlying growth trends across almost all market segments returning to the improving trajectory that we saw in the early part of 2020. We believe that this improvement is a reflection of our continuing strategy of focusing on the organic development of increasingly sophisticated analytics and decision tools that deliver enhanced value to our customers across market segments. Recent acquisitions, which have supplemented our organic growth strategy, have continued to perform well."


Chair, Paul Walker, commented:


"I am very pleased that RELX has continued to make good progress both operationally and strategically in the first half of 2021. In the few months since taking on the position of Chair I have been impressed by the way in which RELX has prioritised supporting our customers across all business areas, and has continued to invest behind our strategic objectives whilst building on our strong ESG performance. In recognition of the positive financial momentum we have announced an increase in the interim dividend of 5% to 14.3p."





Colin Tennant (Investors)

+44 (0)20 7166 5751

Paul Abrahams (Media)

+44 (0)20 7166 5724


Operating and financial review


Revenue £3,394m (£3,501m); constant currency growth +4%: The constant currency growth rate reflects good growth in electronic revenues (90% of the total), driven by further development of analytics and decision tools.


Adjusted operating profit £1,023m (£990m); constant currency growth +11%: Growth in adjusted operating profit exceeded growth in revenue, resulting in an improvement in adjusted operating margin to 30.1%.


Reported operating profit £860m (£747m): Reported operating profit includes amortisation of acquired intangible assets of £143m (£164m) and portfolio related costs of £16m (£26m).


Adjusted profit before tax £953m (£909m); constant currency growth +13%: Adjusted profit before tax benefited from lower adjusted net interest expense of £70m (£81m) with the reduction reflecting lower average net borrowings and lower average interest rates.


Reported profit before tax £825m (£666m): Reported profit before tax includes disposal net gains of £39m (£6m).  Reported net interest expense was £74m (£87m).


Tax: The adjusted tax charge was £185m (£162m), including some non-recurring credits. The adjusted effective tax rate was 19.4% (17.8%). The reported tax charge was £164m (£124m).


Earnings per share: Adjusted EPS 40.0p (39.1p); Reported EPS 34.5p (28.4p).


Dividend: We are declaring an interim dividend of 14.3p (13.6p). Our long-term dividend policy is unchanged.


Net debt/EBITDA 2.8x (3.2x) including leases and pensions: The leverage ratio reduced compared to the end of 2020 as EBITDA increased in line with higher adjusted operating profit. Net debt, including leases, was £6.3bn (£7.5bn) at 30 June 2021. Excluding leases and pensions, net debt/EBITDA was 2.5x (2.8x). Adjusted cash flow conversion was 112% (101%).


Portfolio development: In the first half of 2021 we completed 5 small acquisitions for a total consideration of £46m, and disposed of a number of small assets for a total consideration of £5m.


Share buybacks: As previously announced, the share buyback was suspended in April 2020. The Board does not intend to resume the programme in 2021.


Environmental, social and governance (ESG) recognition: Since the start of the year, RELX has achieved a AAA MSCI ESG rating for a sixth consecutive year; moved up to first in its industry sector in Sustainalytics ESG rankings; and improved its ranking to third in the Responsibility100 Index, which measures the FTSE 100 against the UN Sustainable Development Goals. RELX continues to be one of 41 LEAD companies of the UN Global Compact among approximately 10,000 business signatories.





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RELX uses adjusted figures as additional performance measures. Adjusted figures primarily exclude the amortisation of acquired intangible assets and other items related to acquisitions and disposals, and the associated deferred tax movements. Prior year adjusted amounts have been revised to exclude exceptional costs incurred at Exhibitions in 2020 as set out on page 22. Reconciliations between the reported and adjusted figures are set out on page 30. Constant currency growth rates are based on 2020 full-year average and hedge exchange rates.


Disclaimer regarding forward-looking statements

This announcement contains forward‐looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the US Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the US Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or outcomes of RELX PLC (together with its subsidiaries, "RELX", "we" or "our") to differ materially from those expressed in any forward‐looking statement. We consider any statements that are not historical facts to be "forward‐looking statements". The terms "outlook", "estimate", "forecast", "project", "plan", "intend", "expect", "should", "will", "believe", "trends" and similar expressions may indicate a forward‐looking statement. Important factors that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from estimates or forecasts contained in the forward‐looking statements include, among others: the impact of the Covid‐19 pandemic as well as other pandemics or epidemics; current and future economic, political and market forces; changes in law and legal interpretation affecting RELX intellectual property rights and internet communications; regulatory and other changes regarding the collection or use of third‐party content and data; changes in the payment model for our products; competitive factors in the industries in which we operate and demand for our products and services; ability to realise the future anticipated benefits of acquisitions; significant failure or interruption of our systems; compromises of our cyber security systems or other unauthorised access to our databases; legislative, fiscal, tax and regulatory developments; exchange rate fluctuations; and other risks referenced from time to time in the filings of RELX PLC with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not place undue reliance on these forward‐looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as may be required by law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or release any revisions to these forward‐looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this announcement or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.


Notes for Editors


About RELX


RELX is a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The Group serves customers in 180 countries in more than 40 offices. It employs more than 33,000 people of whom almost half are in North America. The shares of RELX PLC, the parent company, are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York stock exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX. The market capitalisation is approximately £39bn/€46bn/$55bn.



1-3 Strand

London WC2N 5JR

United Kingdom




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