Woongjin ThinkBig was established in 1980 as Woongjin Publications and focuses on educational materials for people of all ages, including study books, complete collections, single works, after-school learning materials, textbooks and online content. Divisions of Woongjin include Educational Culture Business, Future Education Business, School Culture Business, English Educational Business, Middle School Education Business, and Research & Development Division.
Wongjin Holdings has recorded an annual growth average of 10% in the 31 years since its founding, and is the only Korean company created after 1970 to become a full-sized conglomerate.
Since 2006, the company has become involved in developing globalization centers within its English Education division, which operates 9 branches and 17 franchises, employing 250 native speakers alongside its 9000 Korean teachers throughout the country.
Woongjin ThinkBig includes many educational brands, including Woongjin Knowledge House, Leader’s Book, Woongjin Junior, Gallion, Start, Walking Tree, and Penguin Classics Korea.
Analysis & Key Developments
According to financial data provided by the Austrian foreign trade center in Seoul, Woogjin ThinkBig again recorded a decrease in sales in 2014, yet the drop was moderate compared to the decline in recent years. Sales amounted to 633 billion KRW, down from 649 billion KRW in 2013.
Woogjin ThinkBig reported declining revenues for the fourth year and a net loss.
A turnaround was expected for 2013, after its financial structure and earnings had eroded by previous expansion of the group since 2008, according to analysts’ reports. In 2013, Woongjin eased its significant debt burden.
Woongjin Holdings includes Woongjin Coway (with earnings of 1.71 trillion KRW, and profits of 14,2 %); Woongjin Chemical (1.08 trillion KRW and 11 % profits); Woongjin Energy (313,4 billion KRW and 6.4% profits); and publishing division Woongjin ThinkBig (revenues of 775.9 billion KRW, down 2.1 % from 792.7 billion KRW in 2010, and profits of 4.2%, down from 8.4% in 2010).
At Woongjin Holdings, a strategic vision was defined for 2015, aiming for 15 trillion KRW of sales and 2 trillion in operating income.
In 2013, some divisions, notably educational materials for English and math, have been scaled down. In 2011, a new “vision” has been formulated for the company, and the 30th anniversary of its launch has been celebrated.
The strategic vision for 2015 foresees global expansion also for the educational arm.