A 14% decline in sales from its academic and professional learning group was the primary cause of a 3% drop in revenue at John Wiley for the second quarter ended October 31 2022. Total company sales fell to $514.8 million in the most recent quarter, from $533.0 million a year ago. Operating income dropped 22%, to $57.4 million.
Sales in the academic and professional learning division fell 14%, to $152.6 million. Wiley attributed the decline to a 13% drop in sales in its educational publishing segment due to what the company called “a significant decline in print course material,” which offset solid growth in digital content and courseware. Sales in professional learning had a 15% sales decline, which Wiley attributed to a pullback in consumer spending on professional content that offset growth in corporate leadership training sales.
Sales in Wiley’s largest group, research, fell 1% in the quarter, to $271.3 million. Research publishing sales fell 3%, to $232.6 million, offsetting a 7% increase, to $38.7 million, in research solutions sales.
The company’s smallest group, education services, had a 12% sales increase. Strong double-digit growth in talent development offset a modest decline in university services, which came “primarily from market-related enrollment challenges,” Wiley said.
In prepared remarks, Wiley president and CEO Brian Napack said the company continues “to see good underlying momentum in our core growth areas of research publishing, research solutions, and corporate talent development." The decline in academic and professional publishing was caused by “difficult market conditions,” Napack said, adding that "we are aggressively managing costs to offset these challenges while continuing to scale our growth offerings in line with favorable long-term trends."
Lower consumer spending and college enrollments in Wiley’s academic and professional learning group prompted the company to lower its revenue forecast for fiscal 2023, which ends in April, from a range of $2.17 billion to $2.21 billion to a range of $2.11 billion to $2.15 billion. Sales in fiscal 2022 were $2.08 billion. The earnings forecast remained pegged at $425 million to $450 million.