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Innovation investment bears fruit for Oxford University Press

Innovation investment bears fruit for Oxford University Press

02 July 2015

Oxford University Press (OUP) today reported headline growth of 1% in its 2014/15 Annual Report. In another year of significant investment in infrastructure and innovation, OUP achieved a total turnover of £767 million. Surplus from trading before interest, funded projects, minority interests, and taxation was £111.8 million.

In 2014/15 OUP furthered its mission of excellence in education, scholarship, and research by extending its global reach in the following ways:

Emerging markets
While OUP’s presence in emerging markets has delivered an average annual growth rate of 12.5% over the past three years, economic and trading conditions in many of these markets had an adverse impact on the Press’s performance in 2014/15. Difficult trading conditions in India, South East Asia, and parts of Latin America were exacerbated by some countries coming to the end of a period of curriculum reform. Despite this, OUP’s Asia Education division, comprising China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Pakistan, saw double-digit growth.

Journals growth
Despite continued economic uncertainty in important markets across the world, OUP grew its academic sales in 2014. This growth was partly driven by success in the journals market. OUP secured 12 new collection deals in the UK and increased its presence in emerging markets such as China and Mexico. The 2013 Thomson Reuters Impact Factor list showed that more of OUP’s journals are in the top 10-25% of their field than for any other publisher.

Investment in innovation and digital transition saw significant returns in 2014/15. OUP’s overall digital growth was 7%, and almost half of OUP’s Global Academic turnover now comes from digital products. The Press responded to the increased digitization of teaching resources in UK schools with a series of enhanced digital products and platforms, including Kerboodle, MyMaths, and Oxford Owl. Meanwhile Oxford Language Editing was launched, enabling non-English speaking (and writing) academics to submit their research on a level playing field with their peers.

Sustainable investment
Despite difficult trading conditions in some emerging markets, long-term strategic investments were protected. Several initiatives were launched  to measure the impact of the Press’s work on educational outcomes and a long-term project designed to increase the effectiveness of the organization continued its progress.

Nigel Portwood, Chief Executive of OUP, said: “Despite challenging conditions in some emerging markets we saw good growth elsewhere, including parts of Asia, English Language Teaching, and our journals business. We are making good progress in transforming ourselves into a digital business and extending our global reach. This financial year has started with the announcement of several exciting new initiatives, including the launch of a joint venture with AQA to deliver international examinations, and the acquisitions of and Epigeum. We are confident that the Press is well positioned to continue benefiting the lives of people across the world through providing excellent academic and educational resources.”

Click here to access the Annual Report homepage.