FTSE 100 publishing group RELX (REL) keeps delivering solid growth year-after-year which helps explain why the general direction of travel for the shares has been upward despite periods of volatility.

So far this decade the shares have delivered a total return of 282% which is nearly three times the 97.4% served by the FTSE All-Share over the same period.

RELX is at the forefront of analysing data for a long list of global clients – you can read more about the business and what it does in this in-depth article from 2017.

It is also a key holding in Finsbury Growth & Income (FGT) investment trust with fund manager Nick Train explaining to Shares in this article why he likes the stock.

Stripping out the impact of currency movements, RELX’s revenue growth in 2018 totalled 4% and guidance is for more of the same in 2019.

Sentiment towards the stock, which jumped 1.7% following the publication of its results to £17.14, is also likely boosted by a 7% hike in the dividend and news of a £600m share buyback.

The company also helped reassure on fears over open access – the principle of giving away publicly-funded peer-reviewed research for free – as it described the environment for its scientific journals business as essentially unchanged.

The only negative was a hit for its exhibitions division linked to a reduction in space associated with the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Liberum comments: ‘While the 2019 guidance was the usual commentary about another year of revenue and profits growth, the comments on the customer environment in the STM (journals) business remaining “largely” unchanged should reassure investors given the concerns over the impact over open access.

‘RELX remains a beacon of solidity in a sector riven by concerns over structural changes and so we expect it to maintain its premium rating.’


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Issue Date: 21 Feb 2019