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Wolters Kluwer sees tough 2Q for its risk division

Wolters Kluwer NV said Wednesday that its governance, risk and compliance division faces a challenging comparative in the second quarter as it expects public private partnership-related revenue to decline in the year, but reported a rise in first-quarter revenue on a constant currency and organic basis.

The Netherlands-based provider of information and software solutions backed its guidance for the year, expecting subdued economic activity and spending patterns for most of 2021, but anticipates a gradual recovery from the second half.

Wolters Kluwer said recurring revenue grew 3% organically in the first quarter, while nonrecurring revenue was up 7% organically.

The company said the adjusted operating profit margin in the quarter rose by 290 basis points as it benefited from temporary savings in travel as well as other discretionary costs.

Wolters Kluwer said it expects the adjusted operating profit margin to be in the range of 24.5%-25.0% in 2021. Adjusted free cash flow is expected to be in the range of 875 million euros to 925 million euros ($1.05 billion to $1.11 billion), with a return on invested capital of around 12%.

"We continue to expect the recovery towards prepandemic growth levels to be gradual but are encouraged by the good start to the year," Chief Executive Nancy McKinstry said.

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