Santillana is a textbook and general-interest publishing group in Spain and Latin America with an international presence in 22 countries. Santillana has been part of PRISA, the largest media group in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking markets, since March 2000. PRISA is active in education, news and information, and entertainment in 22 countries and reaches over 60 million users through EL PAÍS, 40 Principales, and Santillana. Santillana celebrated its 50th anniversary in January 2011.

Santillana’s general interest publishing division was sold to Penguin Random House in 2014 for 72 million EUR, leaving the company to focus solely on educational publishing.

PRISA faced serious challenges after the 2008 financial crisis, and accumulated debt of over 3 billion EUR, which the company is currently engaged in restructuring and repaying. In 2014 PRISA executed a sale purchase agreement with Telefónica de Contenidos, S.A.U for the company’s 56% share of DTS for 750 million EUR.

Analysis & Key Developments


Santillana closed fiscal 2016 again with another slight decline compared to the year before. The company’s revenues totaled 633 million EUR, a loss of 1.6%, against the revenues of 2015, which accounted for 643 million EUR. Meanwhile, Santillana’s operating profit increased by 5% to 180 million EUR. The company had a negative FX impact of 44.8 million EUR in revenues and 15.1 million EUR on EBIDTA during 2016.

Although PRISA announced a possible divestment of Santillana at the end of 2015, the group pointed out in May 2017 that it rejected offers from interested parties.

Internal Organization: Acquisitions and Growth Initiatives

In September 2016, Santillana completed the purchase of Carvajal Educational Solutions, which develops content and technology for learning, particularly textbooks and prescribed children’s and young people’s literature.

In November 2016 Santillana launched BeJob, an online training platform for professionals with technological and computer skills. The portal provides real-time information on jobs related to each course, offering university certification and providing access to Amazon cloud’s learning program through its AWS Educate division.


In 2016 the company’s northern area campaigns (Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Republican Dominican, Ecuador, USA and Venezuela) declined by 2.2%. In contrast, Santillana’s southern area campaigns (Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Central America, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay and Peru) showed a good performance in local currencies and grew by 14.5%.

In Peru Santillana saw especially strong growth in book sales during 2016, from 19.9 million EUR in 2015 to 48.5 million EUR, reflecting an institutional bidding for primary and secondary. Spain showed a decline in book sales by 3.1%, with revenues accounting for 133.8 million EUR. The decline was due to a lower production of novelties during the year. Besides, the company faced the worst performance in Brazil private school sales due to the transfer of students to public schools. However Santillana could maintain its market position as number two in Brazil, compensated by a growth of institutional sales. Brazil’s revenues totaled 167.2 million EUR. Furthermore PRISA’s education business held a leading position in almost all countries where it operates. The respected market share of private textbooks, excluding languages, accounts, according to the company, is as follows: Spain (20,5%), Brazil (22,9%), Mexico (16,8%), Argentina (40%), Chile (37,8%) and Colombia (34%).


The digital learning solutions UNOi and Compartir accounted for 17% of the company’s revenue in 2016, reaching more than 850,000 students. The expansion of both subsidiaries grew in Latin America and their total revenues accounted for 128.9 million EUR in local currency, an increase of 6.9% in 2016.

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