INF.L - Informa plc

LSE - LSE Delayed price. Currency in GBp
437.00
-3.30 (-0.75%)
At close: 4:35PM BST
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Previous close440.30
Open444.30
Bid434.60 x 0
Ask434.80 x 0
Day's range433.10 - 448.80
52-week range326.70 - 900.80
Volume2,271,452
Avg. volume6,794,214
Market cap6.564B
Beta (5Y monthly)0.76
PE ratio (TTM)24.28
EPS (TTM)18.00
Earnings date21 Sep 2020 - 25 Sep 2020
Forward dividend & yieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-dividend date18 Jun 2020
1y target est898.20
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  • Covid-19 Shows That Scientific Journals Need to Open Up
    Bloomberg

    Covid-19 Shows That Scientific Journals Need to Open Up

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- One big change brought on by Covid-19 is that virtually all the scientific research being produced about it is free to read. Anyone can access the many preliminary findings that scholars are posting on “preprint servers.” Data are shared openly via a multitude of different channels. Scientific journals that normally keep their articles behind formidable paywalls have been making an exception for new research about the virus, as well as much (if not all) older work relevant to it.This response to a global pandemic is heartening and may well speed that pandemic to its end. But after that, what happens with scientific communication? Will everything go back behind the journal paywalls?Well, no. Open-access advocates in academia have been pushing for decades to make more of their work publicly available and paywall-free, and in recent years they’ve been joined by the government agencies and large foundations that fund much scientific research. Covid-19 has accelerated this shift. I’m pretty sure there’s no going back. But the transition from a mostly closed system of scientific communication to a mostly open one will not be straightforward. Popular accounts often depict the move to open access as a simple toppling of a few for-profit publishers. As I have learned since writing such an account five years ago, the infrastructure around publishing, evaluating and repurposing scientific information has grown up over centuries and is not just going away.The scientific publishing industry has already proved to be, by the standards of the modern media world, impressively resilient. Its staying power is more than just a business story. The industry’s structure shapes not just how science is communicated but how it is done, affecting the career incentives of scientists, the priorities of research universities and, to a certain extent, the course of scientific progress. To understand where scientific communication is headed, you must first understand how it got to be this way.How it all beganScientific journal publishing got its start in January 1665, when French lawyer Denis de Sallo began publishing the Journal des scavans (an archaic version of “savants”), which consisted of book reviews, obituaries and legal reports, as well as scientific articles. Two months later Henry Oldenburg, a German theologian employed as secretary of the recently established Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, started, as a for-profit side gig, a monthly publication with somewhat more focus. His Philosophical Transactions had book reviews and obits too, but the main attraction was reports of scientific discoveries and research — some from Royal Society members but most from Oldenburg’s correspondents around Europe — which Society members vetted before publication in an early form of peer review.Both journals are still being published, which tells you something about the resilience of the medium. As opposed to the books and less-formal means of scientific communication that preceded them, they performed four main functions (this list paraphrases one by industry expert Michael Mabe) that still apply today:Establishing who had an idea or performed an experiment first. Certifying quality, often through the mechanism of peer review. Recording the final, authorized versions of papers and archiving them. Disseminating papers to a targeted scholarly audience.By the late 1700s some scientists were already complaining that there were too many journals for anyone to keep up with. The solution turned out to be yet more journals, increasingly dedicated to single disciplines as science became more specialized. In the 19th century many of these emerged from the burgeoning ranks of non-profit scientific societies, such as the American Medical Association (founded in 1847) and American Chemical Society (founded in 1876), but for-profit publishers played a role, too.Early on they did so mainly in London. The Philosophical Magazine, founded in 1798 and now a journal of condensed-matter physics, became the first building block of the still-significant scientific publishing firm of Taylor & Francis. The Lancet and Nature, founded in 1823 and 1869, respectively, became the world’s two most famous commercial scientific journals. All started out as eclectic publications aimed at practitioners and general readers as much as scientists, but now are known chiefly for their peer-reviewed scientific articles.It was in Germany, though, that the modern approach to commercial journal publishing took shape. As the country became the center of scientific research in the late 1800s and early 1900s, publishers such as Springer in Berlin and Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft (Academic Press) in Leipzig produced journals for scientific societies and signed up promising young scholars to launch new, even more specialized publications. They left the article-writing and also the editorial decisions to outside scientists; the publisher’s job was to keep the editorial process moving and handle copy-editing, typesetting, printing, distribution and marketing.That tidy little business kept growing even through the hyperinflation and other ills that plagued Germany in the 1920s. Things did go backward with the Great Depression, the Nazi seizure of power and World War II, but after the war, big increases in research spending and university enrollments — first in the U.S., then elsewhere in the developed world — ushered in an entrepreneurial golden age for scientific publishing.The postwar golden ageThe Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft was under Communist control in East Germany and missed this boom, but former employees founded Academic Press and Interscience in New York, and a former intern built North-Holland Publishing in the Netherlands. Springer, meanwhile, got back on its feet with help from a Czech-born British Army officer who was detached to the press section of the British Embassy in Berlin after the war. The officer, who had taken the name Robert Maxwell, then started a joint venture with Springer in the U.K. that he later took control of, rechristened Pergamon Press and rapidly expanded. Maxwell wined and dined scientists around the world and launched International Journal of This after International Journal of That, before using the company to launch himself into a star-crossed career as full-fledged media mogul.The specialized journals these companies started often had circulations in the low thousands or even hundreds. So production costs per copy were quite high, even without paying the authors. Before World War II, many smaller society journals made ends meet by actually charging authors per-page fees to publish; by contrast, the commercial publishers launching new journals after the war were able to get by on subscription charges that university librarians, particularly in the U.S., were willing to pay. Library budgets were growing, professors who published in the journals insisted that their universities subscribe and favorable exchange rates kept the prices charged by European publishers within reason in dollar terms.The floating of the world’s major currencies in 1971, and the economic troubles that followed, brought complaints about high journal prices and kicked off a more complicated era for the business overall. New journals kept popping up, but the ranks of journal publishers began to consolidate. Leading that process was a relative newcomer to the field: Elsevier, a Dutch publisher best known in its home country for its encyclopedia, newspapers and eponymous weekly newsmagazine. Elsevier (pronounced el-suh-veer) began to dabble in scientific publishing in the 1930s, started its first English-language journal in 1947 and became a major force in the field after merging its scientific arm with North-Holland in 1970.Soon after that, it found the leader who would drive it to the top. Pierre Vinken was a neurosurgeon who became a part-time editor at the non-profit medical abstracts service Excerpta Medica in the 1950s, moved into a full-time executive role in the 1960s and then persuaded his colleagues to convert to for-profit status so they could sell out to Elsevier in 1971. He became head of Elsevier’s science division in 1972 and of the whole company in 1979, bringing a relentless focus on profit maximization and shareholder value — a recent biography is titled (in Dutch) “Against Idealism.”Scientific journals were Elsevier’s most profitable business, so increasing their number became key. Elsevier picked up Pergamon and its 418 journals from a cash-strapped Maxwell in 1991, then went on to add the Lancet and Academic Press to its portfolio, among many others. It merged with British publisher Reed in 1992 and today is the chief profit center of the most profitable and valuable media company that hardly anybody has heard of: Relx Plc boasts a market capitalization more than six times that of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., three times that of ViacomCBS Inc. and 36% higher than Thomson Reuters Corp.In a report published last year, veteran industry analyst Claudio Aspesi estimated Elsevier’s share of the worldwide academic journal market at 17.5%. Springer Nature, the product of a 2015 merger between Springer and a number of scientific publishing properties owned by its fellow German publisher Holtzbrinck (including the aforementioned journal Nature), was No. 2 at around 13%. No. 3 at about 9% was John Wiley and Sons Inc., the venerable New York area publisher of Herman Melville and Edgar Allan Poe, which expanded into scientific journals when it bought Interscience in 1961. Aspesi didn’t calculate a market share for Taylor & Francis, now a subsidiary of Informa Plc, but it’s generally seen as rounding out the industry’s Big Four. Together, they control between 40% and 50% of the market.Measuring impactA fifth key corporate power in scientific communication is Clarivate Plc, which is not a journal publisher but a provider of what it calls “insights and analytics to accelerate the pace of innovation.” Spun off from Thomson Reuters in 2016, it derives most of its revenue from a science division that has its roots in a 1955 Science article by American chemist-turned-librarian Eugene Garfield. Garfield believed that keeping track of the postwar explosion in scientific research required new approaches that the rise of the computer would enable. He founded a company to do this work, the Institute for Scientific Information, which Thomson acquired in 1992. The metrics it created ended up shaping science and the world in all sorts of unexpected ways.One key concept in Garfield’s 1955 article was what he called the “impact factor,” a measure of influence based on how frequently an article was cited by others. In 1972 he unveiled his first ranking of journals by impact factor, with the Journal of the American Chemical Society coming in first. Such a metric, he mused at the time, might help librarians in deciding which journals to subscribe to and journal editors in looking for “objective and timely measures of their success.”Editors working for commercial publishers have certainly taken heed. For-profit journals occupied 14 of the top 20 spots in the 2019 impact factor rankings, as opposed to just four in 1972. Cell Publications, founded by a molecular biologist and former Nature editor in 1974 and sold to Elsevier in 1999 for a rumored $100 million, is often held up as the apotheosis of the impact-maximization approach. But nowadays, Nature and its many spinoffs (Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Nature Materials, Nature Energy, etc.) dominate the rankings.Also paying attention to Garfield’s work were Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who based the PageRank algorithm that spawned Google on nearly identical premises. So, for that matter, was Elsevier, which has built up its own set of research metrics to compete with Clarivate. Several smaller corporate players have entered the field as well.The metrics these companies churn out now play a huge role in determining academic success. Hiring, tenure and grant decisions often turn on how many articles a scholar has published in high-impact journals, and international university rankings rely heavily on faculty publication and citation metrics as well. The measures pioneered by Garfield are surely more objective and fairer than previous gauges of prestige and success, but even he came to rue their overuse. Too heavy a reliance on performance metrics of any kind can shortchange creativity, innovation and other hard-to-measure things. The reliance on citation metrics in particular appears to discourage researchers from publishing negative or inconclusive results, producing an increasingly skewed picture of scientific knowledge and possibly encouraging scientific fraud. Big moneyAlthough many in academia are uneasy about the ways in which private companies have come to shape scientific communication and research evaluation, what seems to spur the most vocal opposition is the money they make doing it. The overall market for scientific and medical information adds up to about $25 billion in revenue a year, according to a 2018 report from the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers. Journal publishing accounts for $10 billion — or about 2% of overall spending on academic research, Belgian open-science expert Jean-Claude Burgelman estimated earlier this year.That makes the industry sound kind of small, but it is quite profitable. Elsevier had an operating-profit margin of 37% last year, which helps explain the high valuation of its parent company. At Taylor & Francis the operating profit margin was 29%, at Wiley’s research publishing arm 27% and at Springer Nature (as reported in the prospectus for a canceled 2018 initial public offering) 23%. Just for comparison, the 2019 operating margin at famously profitable Google was 26%.Being profitable is not a crime. Making those profits while paying authors and peer-reviewers nothing and many journal editors little to nothing, though, is a source of endless amazement and enragement in academia and beyond. When French materials scientist Sylvain Deville asked on Twitter in January for people to “Explain academic publishing to me like I am Five,” he got a lot of responses like this one from Ned Potter, a librarian at the University of York in the U.K.:Cows make milk. They milk themselves. Other cows check the milk (for free). Cows - get this - PAY THE FARMER to take the milk away. Then the farmer (you won’t believe this, honestly) sells the milk *back to the cows.*It’s not exactly the same cows. Those that produce the milk are professors and other researchers; those that buy it are generally librarians. Also, at the multidisciplinary journals Nature and Science, as well as most leading biomedical journals, the milkers (aka editors) are full-time staffers with substantial salaries. But the overall picture of universities handing over research papers for free and then paying to read them is correct. U.S. college and university libraries spent $2.3 billion on subscriptions for scientific journals and other publications in the 2015-2016 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, or 28% of their total expenditures. In 1993-1994 that was $690.4 million, 17% of total expenditures and about $1.2 billion in current dollars.This trajectory is not the one that many foresaw as the internet rose to ubiquity in the 1990s. Tim Berners-Lee’s original proposal for the World Wide Web intended it as a means of better communication among scientists; it was widely assumed that most such communication would be free of charge, and that the scientific publishing business was headed for major disruption. A now-legendary 1995 Forbes article about Elsevier was headlined, “The Internet’s First Victim?”It most definitely was not. Instead, Elsevier kept buying journals and investing heavily in their digitization — and other big publishers followed. They began offering “big deals” in which, as one university librarian described it in 2001, “libraries agree to buy electronic access to all of a commercial publisher’s journals for a price based on current payments to that publisher, plus some increment.” Along with Jstor, created by the Mellon Foundation in the late 1990s to digitize back issues of journals published by scholarly societies and university presses, these deals expanded the amount of research at the fingertips of university students and faculty, while slashing the cost of storing paper journals. University libraries would appear to be getting more for their money today than they did in the mid-1990s.Still, it’s a lot of money. The University of California system’s recently expired Elsevier subscription cost a reported $10 million a year, and many of the journals included in such big deals are seldom read. The digitization of journal content has also made the journals’ high cost apparent to lots of people who aren’t university librarians. Anyone with an internet connection can find just about any article in the archives of Elsevier, Springer Nature, Wiley, Taylor & Francis and other publishers, but without possessing the right university library card (not every school subscribes to every publication) or a steep per-article payment, you usually can’t read past the opening paragraphs.Against paywallsThese digital paywalls have inspired major efforts to get around them. One of the best known, because of its tragic end, was that of internet activist Aaron Swartz, who downloaded millions of Jstor articles from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s network starting in September 2010, intending to make them free to all. After being caught in early 2011, he gave up the downloaded documents, and Jstor asked that no charges be pressed. But the U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston plowed ahead, and Swartz killed himself in 2013 while awaiting trial. By then, Kazakhstani computer programmer Alexandra Elbakyan had started an effort to make all academic-journal articles free to read via SciHub, a self-proclaimed “pirate website” that operates outside the reach of Western authorities and publishers.There’s a growing number of legal paths around the paywalls, too. Public sharing of the aforementioned preprints (unedited early drafts) started with physicists’ ArXiv server in 1991, was followed by other disciplines over the decades and has now exploded in response to Covid-19. With Harvard leading the way in 2008, universities have also established policies in which professors are expected to assign joint copyright to the institution (they can opt out) when they publish an article in a journal, and post a copy in its open-access repository. Social networks for researchers, such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu, allow scholars to make their own published works available for easy search and downloading, a practice some big publishers have made their peace with while others have not. Funding agencies in Europe and the U.S. now require that publications based on research they paid for be made freely available after an embargo of six or 12 months. And paywalled journals often make public the appendices and datasets that go with their articles, which can be of more interest to other researchers than the articles themselves.Still, the pressure to make all research publications free — or at least all those enabled by substantial government or foundation funding — keeps growing. Coalition S, a European Commission project backed by the research-funding agencies of 12 European countries, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, is pushing for all the research its members fund to be published open access, with no embargo, by next year. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is contemplating a similar shift for the U.S.Paying for free articlesOf course, publishing scientific articles, even if you don’t pay the authors or the peer reviewers or in some cases even editors, still costs money. Publishing veteran Kent Anderson’s has an occasionally updated list of the “102 Things Journal Publishers Do,” many of which are less-than-earthshaking — “depositing content and data,” “pay for and comply with terms of publisher insurance policies,” etc. — but do add up. Even preprint servers, which perform only a few of the 102 functions, cost a couple million dollars a year to run.So far preprint servers have mostly relied on donations to pay the bills, which may not be the most sustainable financial model. Open-access journals, meanwhile, live off what are called article processing charges — a modern version of the page fees that helped sustain journals before World War II.Two of the most prominent all-open-access journals are the Public Library of Open Science’s PLoS One and Springer Nature’s Nature Communications, both multi-disciplinary publications with a biomedical tilt. Publishing a research article in the first will set you back $1,695; in the second, $5,380. For those funded by the likes of the National Institutes of Health or the Gates Foundation, or who have jobs at well-endowed universities, neither of these fees represents much of a barrier, and both journals waive fees for researchers from the very poorest countries. But a sizable minority of scholars do get stuck with the bill or simply can’t pay, and in general those from universities, countries and academic disciplines with fewer resources struggle the most.The reliance on article fees also tilts journals toward publishing more articles, and there are “predatory journals” that will publish anything as long you pay. But the divergent fees at PLoS One and Nature Communications are a sign that even legitimate open-access journals can take very different approaches. PLoS One accepts two-thirds of the papers submitted to it, according to industry analyst Christos Petrou, and publishes two-and-a-half times as many as Nature Communications. This allows Nature Communications to exercise greater quality control, resulting in its articles having four to five times the average impact (as measured by citations) as those in PLoS One — which has quite intentionally not aimed to maximize its impact factor, welcoming research papers that report negative or inconclusive results. Career-minded scholars seem to still care about impact, though. Submissions to PLoS One have been declining, and the Public Library of Open Science, which also publishes six more specialized open-access journals, reported a deficit of $6 million on revenue of $32 million in its 2018 financial statement.To allow for such differences in business models, the funders in Coalition S are not planning to cap the article fees they’re willing to pay, but they are demanding transparency from publishers about costs, with the goal of keeping journal profit margins down. Another approach, adopted by multiple European national university systems, is to replace Big Deal journal-subscription contracts with similarly priced “transformative” deals, in which publishers agree to publish their faculty’s research without paywalls or article fees, while continuing to grant subscription access to paywalled articles.In the more dispersed U.S. academic landscape, such deals can be harder to arrange. A few U.S. universities have entered into them, with the biggest North American transformative deal so far announced recently between Springer Nature and the University of California system. The UC system has been unable to agree on terms with Elsevier, though, and has done without direct access to new Elsevier journal articles for more than a year now. Meanwhile, other universities in the U.S. have been breaking their big deals with publishers into narrower contracts, a practice that seems likely to accelerate as Covid-driven budget cuts begin to pinch, presumably making it harder to finance a wholesale shift to open access.The shape of the open-access futureSubscriptions are a simple, time-honored and clearly sustainable way to pay for a publishing operation. The news media’s re-embrace of them, after decades of experimentation with advertising-supported business models online, is evidence that this may be even more true in the digital age. Scientific publishers are being pushed to abandon subscriptions and embrace open science for a lot of good reasons, as the Covid-19 crisis has made clear, but there will be consequences.The most perverse of those consequences, from the perspective of many open-access advocates, is an increase in the power and profits of the big commercial publishers. Clout has already begun shifting away from scientific societies, which often rely on journal subscriptions to subsidize other activities or as a perk to retain and recruit members. Many societies seem at a loss for how to proceed in an open-access environment. Several have recently handed their journal operations over to commercial publishers — a trickle that some in the industry expect to become a flood.Those commercial publishers, meanwhile, have been buying up preprint servers, academic social networks, journal-hosting platforms, research evaluation tools and other services meant to make them more essential to academia. Elsevier stopped calling itself a publisher a while ago — it’s now “a global information analytics business specializing in science and health.”In 2011 Claudio Aspesi, then an analyst at brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein and Co., advised clients to steer clear of Elsevier parent Relx out of fear that library budget crunches and the rise of open access would threaten profit margins. After the share price roughly doubled over the next three years, he concluded that maybe open access wasn’t as big a threat to its business as he had thought. Lately he’s been examining the industry on behalf of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, a pro-open access group, and finding reasons for alarm not for shareholders but for universities.In an article published in Science in May, Aspesi and MIT Press Director Amy Brand warned that Elsevier and other big publishers are positioning themselves to play ever bigger roles in measuring researchers’ productivity and universities’ quality, and possibly even to act as one-stop portals for the global exchange of information within scientific disciplines. “The dominance of a limited number of social networks, shopping services, and search engines shows us how internet platforms based on data and analytics can tend toward monopoly,” they wrote. Such concentration isn’t inevitable in scientific communication, they concluded, but preventing it will require “the academic community to act in coordination.”As anybody who’s sat through a faculty meeting knows, that’s a lot easier said than done. The commercial scientific communication industry exists in part because professors aren’t so great at collective action. It also exists because they have other things to focus on, such as their research, and there’s no reason why for-profit service providers shouldn’t continue to help scientists share and make use of that research. The challenge will be to keep the service providers from running the show.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Justin Fox is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He was the editorial director of Harvard Business Review and wrote for Time, Fortune and American Banker. He is the author of “The Myth of the Rational Market.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Will the Informa share price run continue?
    Stockopedia

    Will the Informa share price run continue?

    In this article we will quickly re-cap the broker forecasts for Informa (LON:INF). The Informa share price has risen by 2.22% over the past month and it’s curr...

  • Reuters

    UK's Informa to resume trade fairs in China from July, shares rise

    Shares in the FTSE 100 company, which have lost nearly half their value this year, gained 9% after it said its China Beauty Expo in Shanghai - which draws more than 3,500 exhibitors - would kick off the resumption of post-lockdown events in China. Informa, which organises events such as Monaco Yacht Show, World of Concrete and Arab Health, however said it was unlikely that physical events would resume before September in the United States, its largest market. Analysts at Credit Suisse said the estimate was close to current consensus.

  • Don’t waste the stock market crash! I’d buy these 2 dirt-cheap FTSE 100 stocks today
    Fool.co.uk

    Don’t waste the stock market crash! I’d buy these 2 dirt-cheap FTSE 100 stocks today

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  • What does the future hold for the Informa share price?
    Stockopedia

    What does the future hold for the Informa share price?

    The Informa (LON:INF) share price has risen by 3.88% over the past month and it’s currently trading at 461.7. For investors considering whether to buy, hold or...

  • Analysts upbeat on the outlook for Informa
    Stockopedia

    Analysts upbeat on the outlook for Informa

    The Informa (LON:INF) share price has risen by 13.9% over the past month and it’s currently trading at 484.5. For investors considering whether to buy, hold or8230;

  • Reuters

    Informa launches share sale, suspends dividend

    The company, which is also applying for the Bank of England's COVID Corporate Finance Facility, said the placing of up to 250.3 million new shares would increase its total liquidity to more than 2.3 billion pounds ($2.87 billion). The impact on its events-related businesses, which generate around 65% of revenue, has worsened significantly since the initial first-quarter disruption in Mainland China, with no events taking place in April, the company said. Informa expects this reduced level of activity to stretch through the second and much of the third quarter, "with a gradual and phased recovery from Q3 into the final quarter of the year".

  • Should You Be Tempted To Sell Informa plc (LON:INF) Because Of Its P/E Ratio?
    Simply Wall St.

    Should You Be Tempted To Sell Informa plc (LON:INF) Because Of Its P/E Ratio?

    This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios...

  • Attendee of World’s Top Buyout Event Contracts Coronavirus
    Bloomberg

    Attendee of World’s Top Buyout Event Contracts Coronavirus

    (Bloomberg) -- A Berlin private equity conference last month that attracts thousands of financiers -- including billionaire buyout heavyweights Leon Black and Stephen Schwarzman -- was also attended by a person who has since tested positive for the coronavirus, people familiar with the matter said.An employee of 17Capital tested positive after returning from the SuperReturn International event, which ran from Feb. 25 to 28, according to the people. It wasn’t immediately clear when the ailment was contracted, and some people can be infected for days without knowing it.The individual wasn’t showing symptoms while at the conference, one person said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. London-based 17Capital said a “small number” of staff are working from home in self-isolation as a result of the incident.“A member of the team did contract Covid-19, and has since made a full recovery,” 17Capital, which finances private equity firms and their portfolio companies, said in a statement. “As soon as symptoms showed, we liaised with Public Health England and followed all recommended measures to protect our people and our business partners.”No-ShowsSuperReturn, an annual event organized by a division of Informa Plc, was one of the last major finance conferences to go ahead as the virus began to spread across Europe. While the event planned for 3,000 attendees, many investors from Italy and East Asia stayed home and a few big-name guests didn’t turn up.The coronavirus has infected at least 120,000 people and killed more than 4,700 globally. Stocks have plummeted and some credit markets have seized up as economies grind to a halt and businesses send workers home.SuperReturn “was run in full accordance with the preventative measures recommended by global health and local government authorities, which included enhanced hygiene practices and guidance to attendees on the personal precautions to take,” said Dorothy Kelso, global head of the event.German health minister Jens Spahn recommended Sunday postponing events with more than 1,000 participants. In an interview with news agency DPA, he said the goal would be to slow the spread of the virus so the health-care system can cope better. Some conferences -- including the ITB travel industry trade show in Berlin, which attracts more than 160,000 participants -- were already cancelled before Spahn’s comments. KKR ClosureOther private equity firms have not been immune from the contagion in Europe. An employee at KKR & Co. in London contracted the coronavirus, prompting the investment firm to temporarily close both of its offices in the city this month.On Wall Street, some of the biggest banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are staggering their employees’ visits to the office to slow the spread of the virus.Buyout firms have been taking precautions to protect their investments as economic activity slows. Blackstone Group Inc. and Carlyle Group Inc. have told some portfolio firms to draw down bank credit lines to help prevent any liquidity shortfalls amid signs of mounting stress in markets, Bloomberg News reported this week.(Adds detail on virus impact from eighth paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Sarah Syed in London at ssyed35@bloomberg.net;Benjamin Robertson in london at brobertson29@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Dinesh Nair at dnair5@bloomberg.net, ;Shelley Robinson at ssmith118@bloomberg.net, Ben Scent, Ross LarsenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • How Does Informa plc's (LON:INF) Earnings Growth Stack Up Against Industry Performance?
    Simply Wall St.

    How Does Informa plc's (LON:INF) Earnings Growth Stack Up Against Industry Performance?

    Examining Informa plc's (LSE:INF) past track record of performance is a valuable exercise for investors. It enables us...

  • Ad Week Europe in London delayed over coronavirus fears
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Ad Week Europe in London delayed over coronavirus fears

    The delay came as events company Informa said over 100 events, worth £400m, have so far been pushed back due to the spread of COVID-19.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-Closing snapshot: another record day

    You can share your thoughts with Thyagaraju Adinarayan (thyagaraju.adinarayan@tr.com), Joice Alves (joice.alves@tr.com), Julien Ponthus (julien.ponthus@tr.com) in London and Danilo Masoni (danilo.masoni@tr.com) in Milan. China stimulus hopes and a drop in new virus cases lifted the mood in markets today, sending the STOXX 600 to yet another record high, up 0.8%, even as recent weakness in the euro is a reminder of how economic dat in Europe has deteriorated. Some surprising data from the UK and a new chancellor make people wonder if there are some fiscal and monetary policy changes under way.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

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    You can share your thoughts with Thyagaraju Adinarayan (thyagaraju.adinarayan@tr.com), Joice Alves (joice.alves@tr.com), Julien Ponthus (julien.ponthus@tr.com) in London and Danilo Masoni (danilo.masoni@tr.com) in Milan. Some surprising data from the UK and a new chancellor make people wonder if there are some fiscal and monetary policy changes under way. Analysts at DB say there is still a decent amount of fiscal headroom left but they expect the new Chancellor Rishi Sunak to end up sticking to his predecessor's spending rules.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

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    You can share your thoughts with Thyagaraju Adinarayan (thyagaraju.adinarayan@tr.com), Joice Alves (joice.alves@tr.com), Julien Ponthus (julien.ponthus@tr.com) in London and Danilo Masoni (danilo.masoni@tr.com) in Milan. Utilities are on fire and their run looks to be unstoppable.

  • Informa plc (LON:INF) Might Not Be A Great Investment
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  • Flight Shaming Isn't Just a Problem for Airlines
    Bloomberg

    Flight Shaming Isn't Just a Problem for Airlines

    (Bloomberg) -- It’s a problem that Davos can’t solve.The World Economic Forum tried to mitigate the environmental impact of all those private jets traveling to and from this year’s conference in the Swiss town by giving them the option to fill up on so-called sustainable aviation fuel, which is designed to lower carbon emissions compared to normal flights. Many attendees who left the conference after the last session on Friday will nevertheless have had to take commercial planes that use conventional fuel.Given the WEF’s effort this week to tackle the risks facing the world economy from climate change  — environmental issues topped its agenda for the first time in the event’s 50-year history — it’s an uncomfortable situation on its own doorstep. It’s also a high-profile example of an issue confronting the entire conference industry: as concern about environmental damage from air travel has given birth to a “flight shame” phenomenon which has darkened carriers’ outlook, there’s the potential for a knock-on impact on the business of organizing business meetings. An average conference attendee emits as much as 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per meeting, according to TerraPass, a sustainability consultancy — about the same as driving from San Francisco to New York City. Some of the environmental impact comes from piles of brochures that might not get recycled, the food that gets wasted and the marketing swag that can end up in landfills. But the vast majority of carbon emissions come from air travel. “We must get ahead of change and public perception,” Jason Geall, vice president for Northern Europe at American Express Global Business Travel, said in a speech to business travel and meetings executives in London on Monday. “A failure to act now could leave us vulnerable to existential threats, such as flight caps and increased taxation and regulation.”For now, environmental concerns haven’t hit events companies. Shares of Relx Plc, which derived about 18% of revenue from events in the first half of 2019, and Informa Plc, whose events unit contributed about 8%, were at or close to all-time highs on Friday.  UBS AG analysts led by Adam Berlin forecast 4% annual growth in the global exhibitions sector in the coming year, about the same pace as in recent years.While more organizers are recognizing the need to mitigate the damage their events can cause to the environment, the industry hasn’t settled on an approach for tackling air travel. Some conference holders include carbon offsetting in the cost of the event tickets. Others leave attendees to address the problem themselves.Take MWC, the annual meeting for the telecommunications industry in Barcelona. This year’s event starts Feb. 24, and in 2019 more than 100,000 people attended. For four of the last five years, Guinness World Records named it “The World’s Largest Carbon Neutral Trade Show.”  MWC lists among its main achievements the creation of a green logo, and the use of recycled post-consumer bottles in the lanyards for attendees’ badges. Guests are also directed to a website where they can calculate and offset their emissions from attending the event, a spokeswoman said. The GSMA, the mobile industry lobby group that hosts the conference, calculates and offsets any emissions remaining, including from travel.Though the events industry has been slow to tackle the problem of CO2 emissions from air travel, images of the Australian wildfires and calls for action from activists like Greta Thunberg have sparked interest in making meetings more green, said Nancy Zavada, president of environmental consultancy MeetGreen in Portland, Oregon. Demand for her services, which includes helping meeting organizers arrange teleconferencing and carbon offsetting for attendees’ flights, jumped about 20% in the last quarter, she said.“The climate, the storms, the weather, are really starting to wake people up to what’s going on,” she said. “It’s also the Greta effect.”Marcia Balisciano, director of corporate responsibility at Relx, says it’s important not to underestimate the efficiencies that can be achieved by big business events.“If you come to this marketplace where your customers are going to be, or your suppliers, then it’s going to be a lot easier for you to do your business by traveling once,” she said. MeetGreen’s president also cautions against being too quick to criticize the environmental measures taken at Davos. The WEF doesn’t serve drinks in single-use plastic containers, uses 100% renewable energy, and to encourage walking in the Alpine snow, offers shoe grips and maps.“They’re trying,” said Zavada. “They’re putting some stuff in place. They are just so public, they’re easy to pick on.”To contact the author of this story: Thomas Seal in London at tseal@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer Ryan at jryan13@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Scholarly Publishers Are Happy to Give Stuff Away If Someone Pays Them

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- For almost two decades, a battle has been raging over access to scholarly research. On the one side have been scholars, librarians, funders and others arguing that in an age of near-costless global communication, research findings and the data that underlie them should be shared freely and openly. On the other side have been publishers, led by Elsevier, a (very large) unit of under-the-radar London-based media giant RELX Plc,(2) fighting to maintain the remarkable profit margins that paywalled scholarly journals can provide.That’s the simple version, at least — things have always been a little more complicated than that. But it was still jarring to observe this week in Berlin how much the battle lines have shifted.An executive with Wiley, the third-largest academic journal publisher by revenue, got up in front of the room at the APE (which originally stood for Academic Publishing in Europe) 2020 conference to extol his company’s commitment to “open access, open data, open practices, open collaboration, open recognition and reward.” A counterpart from Springer Nature, the No. 2 publisher, proudly reeled off the paywall-free share of the papers published in Springer journals by researchers from various countries — Sweden was the champ, at 90%. And Kumsal Bayazit, who took over as chief executive officer of Elsevier last February amid tense standoffs between the company and pro-open-access university systems in Germany, California and elsewhere, declared that “Elsevier fully supports open access, as I think is the case for all scholarly publishers today.”What happened?!? Partly it’s the forward march of digital progress (or disruption, or destruction), which Michael Mabe, the recently retired CEO of industry trade association STM, predicted will render “subscription models and content control by copyright ... untenable by 2030.” Partly it’s the European Union’s Plan S, which will require research funded by public grants to be published without paywalls starting next year. But it’s also that some universities and other research institutions in Europe came up with a plan for taking down subscription paywalls but continuing to pay publishers for what they do. “The key idea was to detach spending flows from subscriptions and reattach them to publishing services,” said Ralf Schimmer, the director of scientific information provision at the Max Planck Digital Library in Munich since 1999.The Max Planck Digital Library serves the Max Planck Institutes, a network of government-funded research centers in Germany that has played a central role in the open-access movement, starting with a 2003 conference in Berlin that resulted in a declaration that has since been endorsed by 648 universities and other research organizations from around the world. At 12 subsequent “Berlin conferences” (not all of them in Berlin), university administrators, librarians, nonprofit publishers and others honed their approach.This approach did not involve, as some open-access fans advocate, doing away with publishing middlemen and putting scholars in charge of the process. “I say open and clear that we want to destroy the subscription system, but I’ve never said we want to destroy the publishers,” Schimmer told me. “I find the idea that the research community could do the publishing itself to be utterly naive. Why should libraries or academia do a better job than publishers?”Adherents of the Berlin approach have aimed instead to flip university library subscription contracts for academic journals into “publish and read” or “transformative” deals in which approximately the same amount of money finances both (1) paywall-free publication of articles by that university’s faculty and (2) access to still-paywalled articles. Berlin-based Springer was the first of the big publishers to agree to a deal tending in this direction, with the Dutch university system in 2014. Since then it, Wiley and other publishers have signed dozens more. Elsevier has agreed to a few such deals, too, most recently with Carnegie Mellon University and the Dutch universities. It has been most notable, however, for its negotiation breakdowns with the Max Planck Institutes, Germany’s universities and the University of California system, among others. The UC system let its Elsevier subscription agreement lapse early last year when it couldn’t agree with the company on the pricing of a publish-and-read deal, and has been making do without access to new Elsevier publications ever since.Bayazit, a UC Berkeley graduate who is new to academic publishing but not to RELX, has been making the rounds of universities and clearly signaling that Elsevier is dialing down its confrontational approach. It did not escape notice at the APE conference that three of the four biggest academic publishers — Elsevier, Wiley’s research-publishing arm and No. 4 Taylor & Francis, a division of Informa Plc — are now run by women with no background in academic publishing. A new era seems to be dawning for the industry, and it has been reshuffling its leadership to meet it.That this new era may end up being dominated by the same big publishing companies that dominated the previous one is, of course, not going to be met with universal acclaim in academia. The turn to open access may well squeeze publishing profit margins, as those who don’t produce much research but do read it (lower-tier colleges and universities, practitioners) find they can do without subscriptions. But Elsevier in particular has been gearing up for years to reposition itself as a data analytics provider. A report prepared last year for the pro-open-access Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition speculated that these efforts could reap big profits and give the company even more influence over universities than it wields now. When I ran these concerns by Schimmer, he nodded and said, “They are too good, and the academic community is just too divided.” In other words, getting to open access was hard enough. Completely reinventing the relationship between universities and the companies that profit from providing services to them was a bridge too far.(1) RELX has a market capitalization of about $50 billion, almost six times that of, just to name one example, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.To contact the author of this story: Justin Fox at justinfox@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stacey Shick at sshick@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Justin Fox is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He was the editorial director of Harvard Business Review and wrote for Time, Fortune and American Banker. He is the author of “The Myth of the Rational Market.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • A Closer Look At Informa plc's (LON:INF) Uninspiring ROE
    Simply Wall St.

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    Simply Wall St.

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  • The Informa share price – where next?
    Stockopedia

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  • Three Things You Should Check Before Buying Informa plc (LON:INF) For Its Dividend
    Simply Wall St.

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  • Should You Take Comfort From Insider Transactions At Informa plc (LON:INF)?
    Simply Wall St.

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  • Calculating The Fair Value Of Informa plc (LON:INF)
    Simply Wall St.

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