City File: Merged benefit

THOSE shareholders in Elsevier who objected to its merger with Reed International will no doubt manage to find something to moan about when the combined group publishes its first set of results on Thursday.

Derek Terrington at Kleinwort Benson is expecting pre-tax profits of pounds 260m, a 20 per cent increase.

Most of this growth will come from Elsevier's scientific magazines. But there will also be evidence that advertising revenue is picking up, and with the high operational gearing of the Reed side, the moaning minnies may have to eat their words.

The shares still look expensive but are well supported.

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