Cengage Learning is a leading educational content, technology, and services company for the higher education and K–12, professional and library markets worldwide. The company provides superior content, personalized services and course-driven digital solutions that accelerate student engagement and transform the learning experience. Cengage Learning is headquartered in Boston, and also has offices in San Francisco. The company’s employees are based in nearly 38 countries and sales reach more than 165 countries throughout the world.

Cengage’s fiscal year runs from April to March, therefore developments for both fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2016 are accounted for in this report.

Analysis & Key Developments


Cengage’s adjusted revenues for fiscal year ending on March 31, 2016 decreased by 62.8 million USD, a 3.7% drop from 1.7 billion USD in 2015 to 1.63 billion USD. The decrease was partially due to the unfavorable impact of foreign currency exchange on International revenues, which dropped by 29.9 million USD, or 10.8% in adjusted revenues compared to 2015, causing the division to close fiscal 2016 with 247 million USD. The most impactful currency exchange rates were in Australia and Latin America.

The Domestic segment closed fiscal year 2016 with a decline in adjusted revenues, with 1.39 billion USD compared to 1.42 billion USD in 2015. The drop mainly reflects the continued secular decline of the company’s print-only products, as well as enrollment declines, particularly in two-year and for-profit institutions, and lower sales of research products. These decreases were partially offset by growth from Cengage’s core digital product sales.

Internal Organization

During the third quarter of fiscal 2016, Cengage initiated a restructuring program designed to streamline operations and improve cost structure. The program encompasses both of the company’s segments and other corporate functions, and consists of outsourcing services where appropriate and streamlining organizational structure. Management estimates that the program will save approximately 9 million USD annually.


In September 2015, Cengage acquired all of the outstanding equity of Learning Objects, LLC, an education technology company based in Washington D.C. The purchase is an addition to the company’s course solutions portfolio and expands institutional business.

Cengage also bought San Francisco-based Pathbrite’s Portfolio Learning Platform, which enables students to tag and save their work in order to build an inventory of learning achievements.


Cengage International generated 15.1% of total adjusted revenues in 2016, compared with 72.6% from Domestic Learning and 12.3% from Research.


Total domestic digital product sales comprised approximately 49% of the total Domestic adjusted revenues in 2016. Chief communications officer Sandi Kirshner accounted for the split between digital and print, claiming that “the print book is becoming more of an optional purchase because the digital learning experience continues to get better and is more convenient, easy to use and effective.”

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