OUP sees 'muted' sales rise in 2015

OUP sees 'muted' sales rise in 2015

Oxford University Press saw headline growth of 1.7%, 1% on a like-for-like basis (at constant exchange rates), in the year to end March 2016, according to its latest Annual Report.

Financial details are slim, but turnover stood at £781m (up from £767m the previous year) while profit dropped 8% to £102m (from £111m), following losses in foreign exchange plus investments in acquisitions such as online course provider Epigeum and dictionary site Bab.la.  

The publisher made a financial transfer of £46m to the wider University.

In his introduction to the report, c.e.o. Nigel Portwood [pictured] said the annual results "compared favourably to those of many of our competitors, but were muted", following "difficult trading conditions in many regions and sectors."   

Portwood said: "Our overall business in emerging markets returned to growth, but we found the going tougher than expected in many markets – for example in Brazil, the Middle East, Poland and South Africa. Our academic books business also faced challenges from accelerating changes to library purchasing patterns." However China, India and Pakistan saw double-digit growth, there were "strong" performances in the education sectors in Spain and the UK, both seeing curriculum changes in their secondary schools, while OUP's journals grew with new learned society partnerships.   

Digital sales grew 8% to 22% of turnover, with growth in education markets, especially in parts of Asia.

Portwood said: "Despite the many challenges of last year, we have great confidence that our strategies in our three core markets of Research, the Learning of English, and Education position us for future success."

An in-depth interview with Nigel Portwood will run in this week's issue of The Bookseller.