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Relx: Data growth engine drives reliable Relx

25/07/2019 · Relx (RELX) 

Financial Results FTSE 100 UK

Relx logo on board in headquarters

Reliable Relx is in our portfolio because it ticks all the boxes: decent growth, strong cash flow, impressive return on investment. Relx goes above and beyond these requirements and only faces a small number of challenges to its continued growth. This is the ultimate guide to news updates from the media giant. 


Underlying revenue growth at 3% might be slightly below historic numbers at  Relx (LON: REL), but it is still reassuringly solid. Once again, the bulk of the growth came from the risk and business analytics division which, having reported a 7% increase in sales to £1.1bn in the first half, is fast catching up with the group's largest subsidiary, Scientific, Technical & Medical. Exhibitions - which are unencumbered by the dwindling print revenues - also performed strongly, with revenue growth at 5%. 

As is customary in the first half of the year when Relx pays the larger chunk of its dividend, net debt rose to 2.6 times EBITDA. Total shareholder returns (£578m of dividends and £400m of share buybacks) were uncovered by free cash flow at £794m. But we don't think that is cause for concern. Relx remains incredibly cash generative and dividends and buybacks will be covered by free cash flow in the second half of the year. 

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