Shares: Down

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SHARES in Reed Elsevier plunged moer than 10 per cent after the publishing company said full-year profit will be 6 per cent lower than a year ago. The Anglo-Dutch owner of the Lexis-Nexis information service and Cahners Business Information said pre-tax profit, excluding one-time items, will be pounds 770m.

Weaker economies in Asia and the UK cut sales of Reed's scientific and business publications, which include The Lancet medical journal and Computer Weekly, while competition in online legal information hurt Lexis-Nexis.

All this comes as Reed spends more on electronic publishing and seeks a new chief executive.