Toby and I have talked to a lot of folks about the profits that legal research vendors (AKA Wexisberg™) make and how they are lagging indicators during a down economy. Mostly because they have locked firms into multi-year contracts –some with built in annual increases. It seems that our thought were verified today when LexisNexis’ parent company announced it had a “Robust” 2009. Sales were up 14% and operating profits 13%. Not too bad in a year that had most of its customers scrambling to slash budgets as much as possible. Not as good as those 30% profits that ThomsonReuters are claimed to have, but not too shabby.
There were two things that caught my attention with this announcement. First was the funny comment I saw on Twitter:
And second was the ‘corporate-ese’ that backed up Toby and my beliefs that they are lagging indicators in a down economy. Take a look at this sentence attributed to Reed Elsevier’s Chairman, Anthony Habgood:
“The late cycle nature of some of our markets makes for a tough environment in 2010.”
How could you not love a phrase like “late cycle nature”??? I’m definitely saving up that phrase for my next contract negotiations!