(Alliance News) - Relx PLC on Thursday said it started a part of the GBP1.00 billion share buyback programme that it had announced earlier in the day.

The London-based professional information and analytics firm said it started a share buyback programme of up to GBP250 million on Thursday, which will run until April 24.

Earlier on Thursday, Relx said it will fork out GBP1.00 billion for share buybacks this year, adding to GBP800 million last year, on the back of "strong" earnings growth in 2023.

The company said revenue rose 7.1% in 2023 to GBP9.16 billion from GBP8.55 billion. Pretax profit was 8.6% higher at GBP2.30 billion from GBP2.11 billion.

Adjusted pretax profit rose 9.1% to GBP2.72 billion. The figure excludes items such as amortisation of acquired intangible assets and other costs related to acquisitions and disposals.

Chief Executive Officer Erik Engstrom said: "Relx delivered strong revenue and profit growth in 2023, driven by the ongoing shift in business mix towards higher growth information based analytics and decision tools that deliver enhanced value to our customers across market segments."

"We have been able to develop and deploy these tools across the company for well over a decade by leveraging deep customer understanding to combine leading content and data sets with powerful technologies. We are confident that our ability to leverage artificial intelligence and other technologies, as they evolve, will continue to be an important driver of customer value and growth in our business for many years to come."

Relx lifted its final dividend by 7.5% to 41.8 pence from 38.9p. Its total dividend amounted to 58.8p, up 7.7% from 54.6p.

In addition, Relx had said it planned to deploy GBP1.00 billion for share buybacks in 2024, GBP150 million of which has already been completed. In 2023, it completed 800 million in buybacks.

"We continue to see positive momentum across the group, and we expect another year of strong underlying growth in revenue and adjusted operating profit, as well as strong growth in adjusted earnings per share on a constant currency basis," Relx said.

Shares in the company were down 1.4% to 3,291.00p each in London on Thursday afternoon.

By Eric Cunha, Alliance News news editor and Tom Budszus, Alliance News slot editor

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