STRONG growth in academic journals boosted the profits of publisher Informa, which employs more than 300 people in Oxfordshire.

Peter Rigby, chairman of Informa, which has its journals publishing division at Milton Park, near Abingdon, said strong growth from its Oxfordshire-based academic and scientific division, and from the newly acquired Datamonitor, led to 19 per cent pro forma growth in operating profits to £261m for 2007 on a 9 per cent rise in revenues to £1.13bn. Pre-tax profit rose 43 per cent to £124m.

Informa said the move from print journals to online products had lifted margins in its journals division to a record 29 per cent.

During the year it acquired Datamonitor, whose revenue growth accelerated from below 20 per cent to 22 per cent in the year, putting it on course to make the returns targeted at the time of the deal, as Informa began marketing its products to customers of its other businesses.

Informa's database of 20m customers in 150 countries allowed it to analyse quickly the potential returns of new products or events, said Susanna Kempe, chief marketing officer, by analysing information about individuals' interests, behaviour and organisations.

David Gilbertson, chief executive, cautioned that Informa made 40 per cent of its profits in the fourth quarter, but said it had seen no signs of a slowdown. Trading in January and February was slightly ahead of internal forecasts, with event revenues and delegate numbers up in double digits.

The total dividend is raised 39 per cent to 16.9p via an 11.3p final. The shares closed unchanged at 387.75p.

Mr Rigby ruled out a bid for Reed Business Information, which makes 56 per cent of its revenues from advertising.

"It's not a business we're in and it would be an unusual change of strategy," he said.