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Growth and investment at OUP in 2018/19
04 July 2019
We are pleased to have released our 2018/19 Annual Report, which shows continued growth in turnover. On a like-for-like basis at constant currency rates, our group turnover figure was 2 per cent above last year’s at £840.5m. Trading surplus was down by 5.6 per cent at £108.5m, reflecting the impact of foreign currency devaluation and increased investment in technology and publishing.
Our Academic Division saw strong growth, driven by new society partnerships and journal acquisitions, with our academic publishing also receiving notable acclaim with The New Negro by Jeffrey C Stewart winning both the Pulitzer Prize for Biography and the US National Book Award for Nonfiction. Other highlights from the year include celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Oxford English Dictionary; extending our Open Access publishing so that it now covers more than 60 fully Open Access journals; and a new combined Open Access and subscription deal with the Max Planck Society in Germany.
It was a varied year for our educational publishing, with challenges in some core education markets, including market contractions in the UK and Spain, and government-mandated textbook purchasing in India. However, we saw double-digit turnover growth in mainland China and Pakistan, and launched innovative education projects, such as the Oxford Reading Buddy—a new digital service that provides primary school children with a virtual reading coach to support their reading journey.
Commenting on the financial results, Nigel Portwood, Chief Executive, said: ‘Our publishing activities span research, the learning of English, and education, and this breadth means that we are more resilient to challenging market conditions. I’m pleased with our progress this year, particularly around evolving and investing in our products and services to make the most of digital technologies and data. We are in a strong position to drive improved educational and research outcomes in the years ahead.’
The Report also covers some of our key charitable and mission-based activities, including a project with Book Aid International to distribute thousands of books to refugees in the Middle East; the tenth anniversary of our partnership with the Mandela Rhodes Foundation; and a new charitable relationship with edtech company Liulishuo to improve access to technology-based educational resources in rural parts of China.