In 2011, Scholastic celebrated its 90th anniversary. The company publishes and distributes children’s books, educational technology products, and children’s media. Businesses are categorized into four segments: Children’s Book Publishing and Distribution; Educational Publishing; Media, Licensing and Advertising, which collectively represent the domestic operations; and International. Children’s Book Publishing and Distribution includes US school-based book clubs and fairs, ecommerce, and the trade channel. Scholastic and its subsidiaries compete in more than 140 counties.
Key company developments in 2011 & 1st half year 2012
With full year revenues of $1.91 billion, Scholastic held level with last year’s result ($1.91 billion in fiscal 2010). A slight decrease was related to lower sales of educational technology in Educational Publishing segment and lower revenues of $2.6 million in the Media, Licensing and Advertising unit. Accounting for 48.4% of Company’s revenues, the Children’s Book Publishing and Distribution division recorded an increase of $11.4 million, to $922 million, compared to $910.6 million in fiscal 2010. While revenue growth is related to increased sales of ebooks such as the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, operating income fell from $118 million to $78 million, driven by promotional costs in the school book clubs business and spending on digital projects. As the impact of the federal stimulus funding for education benefited the results of 2010, revenues in the Educational Publishing did not match the record results of 2010. Revenues fell by $48.5 million to $428 million in fiscal 2011. Revenues in the International segment were helped by foreign exchange rates in Australia and Canada, growining by $33 million to $445 million.
Ownership, mergers & acquisition, internal organization:
At the beginning of 2012, Scholastic announced the acquisition of the Singapore-based publisher Learners to enhance their English-language training products. Founded in 2000, Learners has 400 titles, mainly for English-language learners.
Scholastic is present in over 140 countries. Main operations take place in UK, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. In these countries, Scholastic is the largest school-based book club distributor. In Australia and New Zealand, book club and book fair operations reach nearly 90% of primary schools. In Asia, Scholastic reaches the Indian, Indonesian, Malaysian, Philippine, Singaporean, and Thai book markets through Grolier, its wholly-owned direct sale business. Scholastic plans to expand in the Asian market with school-based book clubs and fairs, with an emphasis on educational publishing and English-language training. The International division achieved a double-digit revenue growth through Australian and south-east Asian subsidiaries.
Last year, Scholastic released an update of READ 180, a technology-based reading intervention program that drove fourth quarter growth in Educational Publishing, and rolled out a new online platform in their school based book clubs, called New COOL.
Bestselling authors & titles:
Scholastic’s trade distribution, which belongs to the Children’s Book division, experienced revenue growth by nearly $15 million. This was driven by sales of ebooks such as Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy. Tthe 39 Clues series, Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver trilogy, and the Harry Potter series also contributed to last year’s per.
Key points for analysis & conclusions:
Note: Figures are based on sales generated in calendar 2011 or—for corporations with a fiscal year—from fiscal 2011. Data are from publicly available sources and include sales of books, journals, and digital products. Because publishing data were unavailable, Pannini and Disney/Hyperion are excluded from the rankings. The listing and publisher profiles were compiled by international publishing consultant Rudiger Wischenbart under the aegis of Livres Hebdo.