Wiley overcame a decline in its education publishing segment to post a 7% increase in revenue for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2022, and a 18% increase in operating income. Sales were $2.08 billion—the first time in Wiley’s 215 year history that revenue topped the $2 billion mark—with 83% of Wiley’s revenue coming from digital sources. Operating income was $219.3 million, up from $185.5 million in fiscal 2021.
Wiley executives attributed the 3% decline in educational publishing sales, to $350 million, primarily to lower university enrollments. Wiley CEO Brian Napack said that enrollments declined due to a tight labor market that drew people away from attending college in favor of finding jobs. The segment also faced difficult comparisons to last year, when demand for online education and digital courseware, Napack said, “was significantly amplified,” as Covid “drove record numbers of students into digital settings. In fiscal '22, there was a natural reversion in online enrollment.”
In addition to educational publishing, Wiley’s academic and professional learning group includes professional learning, where sales increased 6% over fiscal 2021, to $296.8 million, driven by growth in corporate training and professional publishing. Napack said that despite the current challenges, Wiley’s “mid-to-long-term outlook for higher education and digital education, in particular, remains very positive.… We see long-term underlying growth in demand for online higher education, digital curriculum, and importantly, corporate talent development.”
Revenue in Wiley’s largest operating segment, research publishing and platforms, rose 9%, to $1.1 billion. The education services group had a 14% revenue gain, with sales just under $325 million.
In looking at prospects for fiscal 2023, CFO Christina Van Tassell said that Wiley is expecting “wage pressure” in the year, as well as some inflationary pressure on printing costs. On the positive side, the company is cutting its real estate costs by shutting some offices as it moves “to a more hybrid work model.”