Founded in 1836, Wolters Kluwer is a Dutch global information service company dedicated to professionals in the legal, business, tax, accounting, finance, audit, risk, compliance, and healthcare markets. Four divisions provide information, software, and services: Legal & Regulatory, Tax & Accounting, Health, and Financial & Compliance Services. The company operates in over 35 countries.

Key company developments in 2011 & 1st half year 2012


Wolters Kluwer closes 2011 with a revenue growth of 4% to 3.35 billion GBP, fueled by 8% growth in electronic and services revenues. Print revenues declined 5%. The operating profit, which includes amortization of goodwill and exceptional items, declined to 436 million GBP. The company announced a share buy-back program of up to 100 million GBP in 2012.

Ownership, mergers & acquisition, internal organization:

Under the terms of a strategy to focus on professional information and clinical decision support solutions, “one of the fastest growing areas of Health”, according to CEO Nancy McKinstry, Wolters Kluwer announced in July 2011 to divest its Pharma Solutions Business. The sale of the pharmaceutical-related Marketing and Publishing Services (MPS) was completed by November 2001, when an agreement with Springer Science+Business Media was signed. The divestment represents approximately 35% of the company’s pharmaceutical-related assets in terms of revenue. MPS is one of the five market-leading global content providers, with scientific journals, databases, and other services. Healthcare Analytics is undergoing sale.


The emerging markets account for 7% of 2011’s total revenues.

To enhance activities in emerging markets, the company entered a joint venture with Medicom, a leading Chinese drug information provider. As China prepares for significant changes to its healthcare system, Wolters Kluwer is banking on a greater demand for new information services.

The global expansion of the Health division was driven by enhanced product lines and strategic acquisitions. Following a Chinese and Spanish version of Ovid, it is expected to make this healthcare information product available in Arabic in 2012. As open access business models dominate the emerging research markets of India, China, and the Middle East, Wolters Kluwer Health acquired Medknow, an open access publisher in India, adding 170 new journals to the portfolio. Legal & Regulartoy expanded their existing product lines into new countries across Europe, where the software tool Kleos was introduced in five new markets. The Financial and Service division shows global growth through acquisitions in India and China, where new solutions for the financial and bank market were launched.

As reported in April 2012, Wolters Kluwer signed a strategic alliance with China Publishing Group Corporation (CPGC) at the London Book Fair. CPGC can export and publish Chinese content through Wolters Kluwer's global network. The Dutch company will bring content to Chinese professional. The two parties will also expand cooperation in digital product sales. Last year, Wolters Kluwer made a similar deal with CPGC’s daughter Commercial Press, who has started to introduce a series of Wolters Kluwer publications in translation to Chinese readers. CPGC comprises 96 wholly-owned publishing houses with 29 overseas branches with business in more than 130 counties.


Seventy-one percent of last year's revenue comes from higher value and more profitable online and software products and services. In accordance with the strategy to move up the value chain from print publishing over online and software services to data analytics new web-based solution provider and software-as-a-service products were launched across all divisions. The Legal & Regulatory sector created more than 70 mobile devices and apps over the last year. More than 2,100 eBooks are available. The Health division expanded eBook offerings through agreements with eBook distributors with more than 700 eBook titles available.

Bestselling authors & titles:


Key points for analysis & conclusions:


Even though Wolters Kluwer Health produces the greatest share (40%) of revenues by print media, acquisitions of online services lead the way to the transformation of the division’s portfolio.

Earlier developments:


Note: Figures are based on sales generated in calendar 2011 or—for corporations with a fiscal year—from fiscal 2011. Data are from publicly available sources and include sales of books, journals, and digital products. Because publishing data were unavailable, Pannini and Disney/Hyperion are excluded from the rankings. The listing and publisher profiles were compiled by international publishing consultant Rudiger Wischenbart under the aegis of Livres Hebdo.