Cambridge University Press publishes 45,000 peer-reviewed academic research and professional-development titles, 300 research journals, school-level education, English-language teaching aids, and bibles under three main publishing groups: Academic, Cambridge English, and Education. The Press has over 50 offices around the world.

Since 1698, the Press has been governed by ‘Syndics’ (originally known as the 'Curators'), a group of 18 senior academics from the University of Cambridge who represent a wide variety of subjects.

Founded in 1534 by Henry VIII, CUP is the oldest publishing house in the world.

Analysis & Key Developments


Cambridge University Press reported its 11th successive year of growth with sales of 262 million GBP in the year ending April 30, 2013. Revenue growth accounted for 7%. The operating surplus before tax was 8 million GBP, a significant increase from 2 million GBP in 2012.

Ownership, Mergers & Acquisition, Internal Organization

In 2013, CUP closed the lastg on-site printing operation, which had been under control of the University since 1583. During 2013, CUP also outsourced US distribution and sold the West Nyack warehouse.

In July 2013, CUP took full ownership of CUP India ahead of the retirement of founding partner and managing director Manas Saikia, who created Foundation Books with his partner Vinod Vasishat in 1985. CUP acquired a 51% stake in the company in 2006, when it became Cambridge University Press India, and increased its shares in 2009.


CUP generates nearly 90% of its sales outside the UK. Large growth was achieved in South Africa due to a new school curriculum, as well as in Mexico, China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

CUP saw “rapidly growing sales” in India and China.

Earlier Developments


The publisher reported a 50% year-on-year increase in digital sales, which contributed to a 3.8% overall sales increase to 245 million GBP for the year to end April 2012 with an operating surplus of 3.4 million GBP. However, according to CEO Peter Phillips, “Challenging market conditions have affected all of publishing groups to differing degrees. In North America, academic library budgets have been squeezed and the transition from physical to digital has accelerated. In Europe the bleak outlook for government finances has reduced spending on universities and schools in a number of countries. Market growth has slowed even in the most buoyant areas of the world, in Asia and Latin America.

Ownership, Mergers & Acquisition, Internal Organization

After more than twenty years, the Press restructured its academic business, creating a new “global” board and combining its books and journals departments. “The restructure also places CUP in a better position in the growing markets of Asia and Latin America”, board managing director Richard Fisher said to The Bookseller. The board will be located across the Press‘ headquarter in Cambridge, New York and Asia. “Elaine Stott, former Wiley Blackwell vice-president and journal publishing director for health sciences, will take the role of director of publishing STM, based in New York. Also in New York will be Simon Ross, M.D. of journals and overall deputy M.D. and Beatrice Rehl, director of publishing for humanities. Nancy Roberts, director of production and operations, and Steven Chong, director of Asian sales and marketing, are based in Hong Kong and Singapore respectively.”

During fiscal 2012, the Press acquired Australian Academic Press, which increased its list of journals to more than 300, and took a 55% stake in HOTmaths, the digital math platform for schools.


Digital academic materials exceeded 30% of the value of the Press’s Academic output, and grew by more than 50% in the last year. Touchstone, the Press’s leading digital English language course, “continued its high growth with new adoptions by major institutions on several continents,” according to the publisher. “We have also seen rapidly accelerating take up of Cambridge Books Online, our largest digital platform for academic books.” The STM publishing areas have seen the fastest migration both to new electronic formats, and—in certain disciplines at least—to Open Access publishing models.

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