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Wolters Kluwer Full-Year 2005 Results


- Revenues and Operating Income Increase
- Stronger Growth and Improved Profitability Planned for 2006

Amsterdam (March 1, 2006) - Wolters Kluwer, a leading multinational publisher and information services company, today announced full-year 2005 results showing increased revenue and organic growth. In the second year of the Company’s three-year plan all key performance goals have been met and these results provide momentum for improved performance in the third year of the plan.

Highlights include:

Full-year 2005:
Strong top-line growth

- Revenues increased 3% to €3,374 million (2004: €3,261 million)
- Organic revenues grew 2.2% driven by strong performance in Corporate & Financial Services, Health and Tax, Accounting & Legal
- Electronic products now represent 39% of revenues, a significant increase over 2004 (35%)
- Investments in product development reached €250 million, a 13% increase over 2004
- Selective strategic acquisitions were made in key growth areas.

Key operational targets

- Structural cost savings €100 million, above target of €80-90 million; reduction in FTEs was 358 in 2005, 1,603 since the start of the 3-year strategic plan
- Ordinary EBITA margin maintained at 16% reflecting cost savings being offset by continued investments in new and enhanced products, sales and marketing and restructuring, including the implementation of shared services
- Free cash flow remained strong at €351 million, including an improvement of working capital of €30 million; enabling investment in growth

Fourth-quarter 2005:

- Revenues increased 12% to €932 million (2004: €833 million); organic revenue growth of 2.7%
- Ordinary EBITA €148 million, an increase of 31% compared to 2004 (€113 million)
- Ordinary EBITA margin increased to 16% compared to 14% previous year
- Free cash flow increased with 28% from 2004: €163 million to €208 million

Nancy McKinstry, Chairman of the Executive Board, commented on the Company’s performance in 2005:
“2005 was a successful year for Wolters Kluwer. It marks the completion of the second year of our three-year plan to strengthen and transform Wolters Kluwer in order to deliver sustainable growth and long-term shareholder value. We achieved healthy growth in our revenues and operating income, including over 2% organic growth, while we invested in new products, revamped our portfolio, and restructured our business. These results demonstrate that our strategy of delivering proprietary information and integrated software solutions to our customers is providing a strong platform for growth and improved profitability.

“With 39% of our revenues now coming from electronic products, including online and software solutions, it is clear that our customers have reacted positively by embracing these new products and solutions. 2005 also saw a renewed approach to strategic acquisitions. These acquisitions enabled us to expand our positions in key growth markets and provide our customers with broader product offerings and end-to-end solutions.

“As we begin 2006 and enter the third and final year of our plan, Wolters Kluwer is a stronger company. We have better market positions and product portfolios, more disciplined and streamlined operations, a strong balance sheet, and greater capabilities at all levels of the organization.”

Key division highlights, reflecting the progress made in the second year of the three-year plan:

Health: Solid organic revenue growth of 4% driven by new and enhanced products, innovative delivery platforms, and strategic partnerships.

Corporate & Financial Services: Strong organic revenue growth of 6% resulting from good performance of corporate, UCC, trademark and ebilling services at Corporate Legal Services and new software sales at Financial Services.

Tax, Accounting & Legal: Solid organic revenue growth of 4% driven by sales of new software and content products, improved retention and strong sales and marketing efforts.

Legal, Tax & Regulatory Europe: Organic revenue growth of (1)%, an improvement over 2004 levels of (2)%, including product portfolio pruning of approximately €15 million; restructuring efforts are on schedule and yielding structural benefits.

Education: Despite flat (organic) revenue, strong operating margin improvements due to the impact of restructuring and additional back-office efficiencies.

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