Sales rise but profits hit at CUP

Sales rise but profits hit at CUP

Cambridge University Press saw sales rise 5% year-on-year at constant currency rates to £269m in the year ended April 2015, according to its latest annual report. The increase reflected "significant" expansion in its Education division, which was offset by lower increases in Academic.

However profit fell 23% to £6.7m (£8.7m in 2013/14) for the year, with CUP saying a significant factor in the drop was "a sharp decline in government spending in South Africa, affecting all publishers."

Digital revenues continued to rise and now account for almost a third of sales, said CUP. Meanwhile blended learning – incorporating digital learning tools as well as print – almost doubled year-on-year.

CUP said the year was characterised by investments in growing markets such as Mexico, Spain, Turkey and the Middle East, and by streamlining processes, systems and overheads. The publisher expanded its IT and support services in Manila and opened new offices in India, Mexico, Madrid and Manila. However a back office centre in West Nyack, New York, was closed. CUP's chief executive Peter Phillips said in the report: "North American authors, learned societies and customers are absolutely central to our future and, in making these changes, we are concentrating our enduring presence in New York primarily around them."

Unconfirmed reports have suggested 60 jobs were lost in the US restructure, while a further 40 are understood to have gone into consultation this year at CUP's Japan distribution company, set to close.

Of the 2014/15 year in total, Phillips  said: "Our continued commitment to quality and innovation resulted in another year of successive sales growth, which now spans over a decade. In addition to reporting a significant rise in digital revenues, this year has seen the Press continue to invest heavily in moving from a publisher of printed books and journals to a provider of content-related products and services in many media - while keeping excellence at the heart of what we do."