By Adria Calatayud

 

RELX PLC said Wednesday that it will suspend its share-buyback program and has withdrawn guidance for 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic has hit its exhibitions business and created uncertainty for the group's three remaining segments.

The FTSE 100-listed information and analytics group said it will complete the first phase of its buyback on April 22, deploying 150 million pounds ($184.7 million) of the planned full-year total of GBP400 million. However, the company has decided that it won't continue with the next tranche of the buyback at this time and will review it later in the year.

The company behind the Lancet medical journal and the London Book Fair said its exhibitions business has been significantly hurt by the pandemic in the first quarter of 2020, and that its outlook for the rest of the year is highly uncertain.

In the first quarter, RELX's three other segments achieved a rate of underlying revenue growth slightly higher than in the same period of the prior year.

RELX had previously said it expected to "deliver another year of underlying growth in revenue and in adjusted operating profit, together with growth in adjusted earnings per share on a constant basis" in 2020.

The company also said a search process to identify a successor to Chairman Anthony Habgood may take longer than originally anticipated, including potentially extending into next year. Mr. Habgood is willing to continue in his role until a successor has been appointed, the company said.

 

Write to Adria Calatayud at adria.calatayud@dowjones.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 08, 2020 02:42 ET (06:42 GMT)

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