Full-Year 2020 Outlook Remains Suspended due to COVID-19 Uncertainty

The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures and restrictions to control it continue to create challenges for our customers and uncertainty around economic conditions for everyone. Until we have greater clarity on the outlook, our specific 2020 guidance on adjusted operating profit margin, adjusted free cash flow, return on invested capital (ROIC), and diluted adjusted EPS remains suspended.

We currently expect recurring revenues for digital information, software and services subscriptions to show resilience, but we note that new sales of subscription products have been more difficult in current market conditions. Recurring revenues from print subscriptions have seen accelerated decline, which we expect will continue in the coming quarters. Of our non-recurring revenues[1] (FY 2019: 22% of total revenues), sales of new software licenses and implementation services are seeing delays, while transactional volumes, training, books, and other ad hoc revenue products are likely to remain weak in current conditions. A freeze on travel, a hold on non-critical hiring, and other temporary cost reductions initiated in the second quarter benefitted margins in the first half. These measures and additional programs and restructuring planned for the second half are aimed at protecting the full-year 2020 adjusted operating profit margin while sustaining investment in key products and strategic infrastructure.

For more information please refer to our 2020 Half Year Results.

[1] Non-recurring revenues include revenues from transactional services, software license sales and implementation services, training, advertising, print books, and other products sold on an ad hoc basis.