"We have been able to raise customer spending about $5,000 three years ago to about $10,000 this past year, that’s because they are buying more of those modules," McKinstry said in a session in the Netherlands, where her company is based.
McKinstry said Wolters Kluwer pursues a policy of annual price increases and that it had sought an average increase of 2 percent to 3 percent late 2009. While she continue that because of the economic conditions, "There were more conversation with customers about price—more discounting at the high end, we are confidient we will realize the two to three percent in price [in 2010]."
The company's U.S. tax software applications were cited as factors in Wolters Kluwer's performance for the most recent year. One was the impact of its acquisition of the IntelliTax line (the former Orrtax). That deal had a positive effect because it was a higher-margin product, executives said, although the product itself was discontinued.
Executives pointed to sales growth in its tax software packages, along with ProSystem fx Document and Scan software and its TeamMate line as factors in producing strong growth in its U.S. Tax and Accounting and Canadian operations in 2009. Revenue for Tax, Legal & Accounting, which includes the results for CCH, grew to about $1.2 billion, up 2 percent from 2008 results. The percentage was based on change in revenue measured in euros.
Acquistions added 4 percent to TAL revenue growth. There was a 3 percent decline in the underlying business which the company said stemmed from the migration from print to electronic subscriptions along with the impact of the economy on transction product lines, such as books. Operating profits at TAL dropped to $209.2 million, down 5 percent when measured in euros.
Companywide revenue was about $4.64 billion for 2009, up 2 percent from 2008, while ordinary net income reached about $579 million for the year just ended, virtually unchanged from the prior year.