Citing “record research output and content consumption, robust online enrollment growth, and broad digital courseware adoption,” net income at John Wiley jumped 53.5% in the second quarter of fiscal 2021 on a 5.3% increase in revenue. Earnings were $68.5 million, while sales hit $491.0 million.
“The pandemic is accelerating important trends underlying our core strategies, including a global increase in the demand to publish and access high-quality research and a decisive shift to online learning and digital curriculums," Wiley president and CEO Brian Napack said in prepared comments on the quarterly results.
Sales in Wiley’s research publishing and platforms group rose 7% with the gain due to strong growth in open access and content platforms driving results, the company said. The education service group had a 28% increase in sales over last year’s second quarter, helped by a $13 million contribution from its purchase of mthree and organic growth of 6% in Online Program Management (OPM) services.
The weak spot at Wiley was its academic and professional learning division, where revenue fell 4%. Wiley said sales in its professional learning unit fell 11%, with weakness seen in trade book sales and in-person corporate training. In education publishing, sales increased 1% as digital content and courseware growth accelerated, more than offsetting the decline in print textbooks, Wiley reported. Sales of test prep programs had another “sharp decline due to Covid-related exam cancellations,” Wiley said.
Wiley said that, based on its performance through the six months of the fiscal year plus leading indicators for the remainder of the year, it is initiating annual financial guidance. For the full fiscal year, the company anticipates low-single digit growth overall, which includes low-single digit growth in research, a mid-single digit decline in academic an professional learning, and, including acquisitions, double-digit growth in education services. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be between $380 million to $395 million, compared to $365 million in fiscal 2020.