Softness in John Wiley’s education publishing and professional learning group limited growth in the first quarter ended July 31, 2019, to 3% (or 5%, excluding the impact of foreign currency exchange), and contributed to a 87% drop in operating income. Total revenue in the quarter was $423.5 million, while operating income was $4.6 million, down from $36.1 million a year ago.
Wiley has once again reorganized its reporting segments. The segments now are: the education publishing and professional learning division, comprised of the former publishing category and corporate training businesses; research publishing and platforms, which includes the research publishing and Atypon businesses; and education services, which is Wiley’s online program management business.
Revenue in the education publishing and professional learning group declined 7% in the quarter, to $144.8 million, compared to the first period of fiscal 2020, mainly due to declines in the books businesses and test prep; losses were partially offset by growth in corporate training. By division, sales in education publishing fell 11%, to $65.5 million, while professional learning revenue dipped 4%, to $79.3 million. On July 1, Wiley acquired Zyante (zyBooks), a leading provider of computer science and STEM education courseware, for $56 million in cash.
Research publishing and platforms revenue increased 2%, to $229.4 million, in the quarter, “driven by sustained growth in Research Publishing (+3%) and Atypon platform services (+10%),” Wiley reported. Acquisitions led the gains in the education services group, where sales increased 69%, driven by the November 2018 purchase of Learning House as well as an organic growth of 9%.