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Publisher allays fears over scientific journals business

RELX (REL) £17.40

Gain to date: 16%

Original entry point: Buy at £15, 1 March 2018

RELX (REL) has delivered a decent return over the past year in line with its steady financial and operational performance.

This consistency was on show again in its latest set of full year results with revenue growth in line with the long-term trend of 4% and guidance for more of the same in 2019. News of a 7% increase in the dividend and a £600m share buyback were a bonus.

One of the sticking points for prospective investors in the stock has been the threat from open access – giving away state-funded peer-reviewed research for free online – but it reassured on this front as it said the environment for its scientific journals arm was unchanged.

RELX’s reliability is underpinned by a subscription-based model with professionals in the legal, scientific and insurance communities seeing the tools and data provided by the company as central to doing their jobs.

The one slight fly in the ointment was a hit for its events division linked to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 limiting exhibition space.

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