- Data and analytics company Ascential said it would launch a £120m share buyback after it boosted its adjusted earnings.

For the year ended 31 December 2019, pre-tax profit fell to £10.2m from £28.9m, owing to one-off acquisition costs.

Revenue grew 19.4% to £416.2m and adjusted operating profit rose 18.5% to £128.5m.

Looking ahead, Ascential said it expected to generate 'strong' organic growth with group revenue in the range of £425m-to-£455m and adjusted earnings margins of between 30% and 32%. The company also said it would continue to monitor the coronavirus outbreak in China, which accounted for just 5% of overall growth. 'We continue to monitor the potential impact of travel restrictions for Chinese delegates and sponsors to events in Europe (such as Retail Week Live in London in March),' it said.

'We are also mindful of the impact that Coronavirus might have on the business performance of our customer base in areas such as fashion but again have seen no significant impact to date.'

At 9:33am: [LON:ASCL] Ascential PLC share price was +15.2p at 369.2p

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