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A year of achievement at OUP despite coronavirus challenges
We have released our 2019/20 Annual Report, highlighting a solid financial performance thanks to some significant achievements throughout the year. It reports £844.9m turnover and 0.3 per cent growth at like-for-like constant exchange rates compared to last year. Its surplus from trading was £108.1m, down 0.4 per cent on prior year, and two per cent at constant exchange rates.
Our Academic Division continued to expand its digital offer in response to changing customer needs. Its journals publishing performed well, with usage increasing by seven per cent. Our strong engagement with Open Access (OA) also continued with OUP’s total number of fully OA journals reaching 70.
Our English Language Teaching division saw growth in Spain, Turkey, and Brazil thanks to increased demand for digital resources and impactful new titles and resources. Additionally, our online ELT conference—which offers professional development for teachers worldwide—became the biggest in the industry’s history. In our Education division, we retained our position as the number one publisher for Primary and Secondary in the UK, achieved impressive results in Kenya through its work supporting the government’s curriculum reforms, and were chosen by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to develop the Science framework for its Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2025.
Market conditions became more difficult from January as the coronavirus pandemic caused schools and institutions to close around the world. In response, we introduced numerous initiatives to support access to education and research. We made 2,500 journal articles freely accessible to help coronavirus response efforts, and offered free access to many education platforms, as well as extensive guidance and resources for teachers and parents to support learning at home.
Commenting on the year, Nigel Portwood, CEO of OUP, said: ‘We are very proud of our achievements and progress in the year, and our trading results were strong, even in the face of Covid-19. OUP has been continuing to provide valuable support to learners, teachers, and researchers around the world in this difficult time and, looking ahead, we are confident that our unwavering commitment to our mission, our breadth of products and services, and our global presence, will allow us to weather this storm, build on the successes of the past year, and emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever.’
The Report also includes information on some of OUP’s key charitable and mission-based activities, including its partnership with the Hope Kolkata Foundation in India, which led to three new digital learning labs being set up in shelter homes, and a global celebration of International Women’s Day.