It may still be a tough economy, but in its annual report released this week Oxford University Press posted strong growth. Globally, OUP saw a 10% growth in sales, with sales hitting £695 million—that’s over $1 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, making a billion dollar university press. In addition, strong sales growth, combined with “effective cost management” yielded a profit of $180 million (or, a “surplus” of £116m, as the report states, as OUP is a non-profit institution).
“We faced difficult market conditions last year,” said Nigel Portwood, CEO of OUP, in a statement. “But, nevertheless, developed some truly innovative publishing.”
OUP officials said the growth was paced by international sales, and investments in digital products that are now bearing fruit. Sales in emerging markets jumped 16% last year with “particularly rapid growth” in South America, South Asia, and the Middle East.
In the digital realm, OUP’e efforts were paced by its release of University Press Scholarship Online, the digital publishing platform derived from its successful Oxford Scholarship Online program; an increases in services; an increase in scholarly journal publishing, with 21 new titles joining the Oxford Journals list; and growth in licensing, including OUP’s famous dictionaries, which are now “embedded” in most major e-book readers.
OUP officials say its investments in digital rose four-fold in fiscal 2012, and digital publishing sales jumped 20%, with digital now accounting for 17% of OUP’s total sales—and 45% of all academic sales.