Nancy McKinstry, Wolters KluwerWolters Kluwer reported that its Tax & Accounting software business was relatively strong for the first half ended June 30. The company said in an earnings webcast this week that the software business had organic revenue growth of 4 percent. However, CEO Nancy McKinstry said that reorganization in the unit is reducing its profit margins for 2014.

Cost cutting steps in progress include outsourcing the remaining printing operations and streamlining editorial processes. McKinstry also noted, "We have moved to build out software centers of excellence in a few locations around the globe." While restructuring continues in other divisions, it is largely complete for Tax & Accounting.

Over-all revenue was down, largely as a resulting of the weaker American dollar, but it was up 2 percent over last year in constant currencies. Revenue reached about $2.3 billion worldwide. Company-wide profit was up 23 percent over last year's corresponding period, reaching about $268 million.

Comparisons to year-ago results were difficult for Tax & Accounting as some operations were shifted to the Legal & Regulatory division. Revenue in the Tax & Accounting division fell to about $606 million, off 2 percent in constant currencies and down 6 percent after currency adjustments. Operating profit for Tax & Accounting fell to roughly $142 million, down from last year's results by 8 percent in constant currencies and 12 percent after currency. Tax & Accounting had a 1-percent increase in organic revenue.

The unit continued to face declines in print and bank product revenue. McKinstry noted bank products are a small part of revenue and said the decline reflected structural trends in that market. She expects growth in tax software to continue and listed that business as one of four areas in which the company is making investments. McKinstry said Wolters Kluwer is pumping 8 percent to 10 percent of revenue bank into the company.

While print revenue continued to decline, CFO Kevin Entricken reported that revenue from the sale of electronic books increased. Entricken also said that its audit business had "robust organic growth" with TeamMate gaining customers in Europe and the Americas.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
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