Franz Cornelsen is one of Germany’s largest publishers and providers of learning services. Cornelsen creates and distributes educational materials for markets ranging from pre-school education to vocational training.

The Group includes Cornelsen Verlag, Bayerischer Schulbuchverlag, Oldenbourg, Brigg Pädagogik, Bibliographisches Institut, KV&H, Verlag an der Ruhr, Veritas, Artemis & Winkler, Prögel, and Cornelsen Experimenta. Cornelsen is also the leading publisher of calendars in Germany.

Analysis & Key Developments


Due to the divestment of several subsidiaries, Cornlesen recorded a loss in revenue in 2014. Revenues accounted for 285 million EUR, which is a change of -13,6% in comparison to the previous year (330 million EUR in 2013).

Changes in management

In September 2014, Cornelsen announced that Alexander Bob, who served as chairman of the managing board of the publishing group, would leave the company at the end of 2014. Wolf-Rüdiger Feldmann returned to Cornelsen as new chairman of the group. Three months earlier, he had left his job as managing director of the Cornelsen Schulverlage.

In March 2015, Cornelsen announced that commercial manager Ulrich Vollmer would step down from his position. He was succeeded by Joachim Herbst, who took over as commercial manager on July 1, 2015. Herbst already served as commercial manager of the AKAD group, which Cornelsen sold in April 2014.


According to the company’s restructuring process, and in order to focus on its core businesses, Cornelsen sold its adult education college AKAD in April 2014. In July 2014, the company split from its adult education provider NTI Nederlands Talen Instituut. NTI was bought by The Netherlands’ NCOI-Group.


During summer 2014, Cornlesen acquired an interest in the learning start-up video platform Sofatutor. In September 2014, Cornelsen took over the textbook program of the Random House imprint Kösel.


Calvendo, an online self-publishing service for calendars, expanded into France and the UK. Calvendo is part of the Cornelsen Group. Since fall 2012, Calvendo has produced 10,000 calendars.

Earlier Developments


In fiscal 2013, Cornelsen experienced a sharp loss in revenues, shrinking from 419 million EUR in 2012 to 330 million EUR in 2013, reflecting the disposal of several businesses in 2012 and 2013, when Cornelsen sold the youth and children programs Sauerländer, Programme der Verlage Duden and Meyers, academic imprints Akademie Verlag and Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, and the tutoring service Studienkreis.

Internal organization

The Cornelsen Holding continued its restructuring process to focus on its core business. To meet the impending challenges, the Berlin-based textbook publisher closed the divestment of non-educational activities. The company cut 200 full-time employees and consolidated the executive boards of Bildungsholding (education) with the management of the textbook publishing group. Four of ten executives left the company. While Dr. Hans-Ulrich Daniel retired, Urban Meister left the group at his personal wish at the end of June. 2014. They are succeeded by Dr. Anja Hagen and Frank Thalhofer, who will serve as publishing executives.

In April 2014, Cornelsen announced the divestment of adult education college AKAD to the investment company Aurelius, which already purchased Corlnelsen’s Studienkreis.


Cornelsen launched its online learning platform scook, which provides electronic learning materials to teachers and students. All new released textbooks are sold as digital-print bundles with a code to activate the digital version on scook.

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