GOING DOWN: Reed International

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The Independent Online
REED ELSEVIER, the publishing group, saw its shares fall 17 per cent after it said profit growth this year will be slow because of weaker sales in its scientific and business publications and increased spending on electronic publishing. There was also some disappointment in the City that the company didn't name a new chief executive, saying the search, which began in August, is at "an advanced stage".

"Most people are willing to accept the pain of its strategy, but the fact that there is no CEO gives the impression there's a bit of strategic drift at the company," said Brendan Hoey, an analyst at Paribas Capital Markets. The company said it could spend up to pounds 2bn this year on acquisitions.