By Najat Kantouar

Wolters Kluwer said it plans to buy back up to 1.0 billion euros ($1.08 billion) of shares and that it expects strong organic growth along with a further improvement in adjusted operating profit margin this year.

The Dutch information services company said Wednesday that net profit for the year ended Dec. 31 was EUR1.01 billion compared with EUR1.03 billion a year earlier and consensus of EUR975.2 million, taken from FactSet and based on 10 analysts' forecasts.

Adjusted operating profit--a company-preferred metric that strips out exceptional and other one-off items--was EUR1.48 billion compared with EUR1.42 billion. The adjusted operating profit margin rose to 26.4% from 26.1%, within company guidance of 26.1% to 26.5%.

Revenue rose to EUR5.58 billion from EUR5.45 billion, driven by strong momentum in recurring revenues, the company said. Consensus was EUR5.58 billion, taken from FactSet and based on the estimates of 11 analysts.

Within this, revenue from North America--representing 64% of total group revenues--grew 5% organically. Revenue from Europe grew 7% organically, while Asia Pacific and other segments' revenue grew 9% organically.

The board declared a final dividend of EUR2.08 a share, an increase of 15%.

For 2024, the company expects a rise in adjusted earnings per share to be damped by higher financing costs and taxes. Diluted adjusted EPS for 2023 was 4.55 European cents.

"We met our financial and sustainability goals, while increasing investment in product innovation, including in generative AI, to support future growth. We look forward to delivering another year of good organic growth and margin improvement in 2024," Chief Executive Nancy McKinstry said.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

02-21-24 0312ET