Somos Educação S.A., known as Abril Educação until June 2015, is a publicly traded company listed on BM&FBovespa’s Novo Mercado segment. It is the largest K-12 group in Brazil and has a broad portfolio of integrated educational solutions (products and services) that includes textbooks, learning systems, language courses and technology platforms, and it also operates proprietary schools and preparatory courses. Its publishing divisions are Editora Saraiva, Ática and Scipione. Currently, Somos Educação reaches approximately 40 million students throughout Brazil with products and services.
Abril Educação was part of Grupo Abril, one of the largest and most influential communication and education groups in Latin America, until February 2015. Tarpon Investimentos, a Brazil-based company primarily engaged in asset management operations, acquired control in 2015. Tarpon is involved in investment activities through investment funds, managed portfolios and other investment vehicles. It operates in public and private investments across several industries, including retail, agriculture, real estate, energy, steel and financial services.
On June 18, 2015, the company announced the purchase of Saraiva’s publishing and educational divisions. The transaction’s value was 725 million BRL. The deal was approved by the Brazilian anti-trust authorities in October and the Saraiva publishing operations were fully merged into Somos Educação at the end of 2015.
After Tarpon took control of Somos Educação, a new methodology was applied to its financial reports. Previously, Abril Educação divided their revenues by company to show the performance of each segment (publishing, learning systems etc.). Tarpon, however, prefers to consider the goods and services sold at each market sector itself, independently of the company or products involved. The 2014 reports were redone by Tarpon to reflect the actual market sectors reached and not the group’s companies, which generated figures that differ from the original reports strictly divided by company.
In 2016, Somos Educação opted to present its results completely divided by market sector and to combine revenues from books and learning systems under the educational market segments. This made it impossible to extricate book revenues from the report. However, the revenue derived from the educational market mainly comes from textbook content adapted to other formats, so it is possible to consider them as publishing revenues.
Analysis & Key Developments
In 2016, net revenues totaled 1.9 billion BRL, 58% more than in 2015. The variation can be explained mainly by the consolidation of Saraiva in 2016 and its income of 516 million BRL. Excluding the effect of consolidation from Saraiva Educação, consolidated growth of income compared to 2015 would be up 14%. This growth was strongly driven by the National Textbook Program (PNLD) cycle, since the Federal government purchases for middle schools in 2016 were higher than its purchases for elementary schools in 2015. Also, Somos Educação’s proprietary and language schools showed a 18% growth in the year, mainly due to the increase of units in the period.
The consolidated EBITDA was 463 million BRL million in 2016, 73% greater than the 269 million BRL reported in 2015. The effect of the Saraiva consolidation in 2016 was 155 million BRL million, which explains the variation. Excluding this effect, growth would be 13%.
In 2016, one of Somos Educação’s main focuses was the integration process after Saraiva Educação’s acquisition, which was concluded in December 2015. Lots of efforts were made to combine the publishing and commercial teams and to create a single portfolio, with clear market segmentation and efficiency priority. The company’s logistics network was rationalized by combining six distribution centers into one. In June 2016, the integration of Saraiva's back office was finally concluded and, in the second semester, Saraiva’s IT systems were integrated.
Somos Educação’s first participation after the acquisition of Saraiva in the National Textbook Program (PNLD 2017) was a rather successful one. Titles were approved in all subjects and the company ended the campaign with a 42.5% share of all titles adopted for middle schools, making it the leader in the dispute. In 2014, Somos Educação had only a 28% share in the same program for the same segment.
Somos Educação’s only focus is the Brazilian market and it has little interaction in the global set so far. This might change under the more international approach of Tarpon.
In 2016, the digital catalogue of Saraiva’s imprints began to be distributed in general e-book retailers such as Amazon. Before the acquisition of Saraiva´s publishing companies by Somos Educação, Saraiva titles were only available at Saraiva Bookstores’ website and digital platform, as a strategy to offer exclusive content.
Ática and Scipione, two of Somos Educação’s K12 publishing imprints, have been consistently investing in digital content and digital books. This investment, however, is limited by the constant changes of policies and lack of definition created by the federal government in its main program, the National Textbook Program (PNLD).
Key Points for Analysis
Brazil, which is among the ten largest book markets in the world, hosts one of the most dynamically growing publishing markets worldwide, particularly in the educational field. Since the Federal government centralizes the purchasing of textbooks to most Brazilian public schools, it is probably the most important player in the Brazilian book chain. The ongoing political and economic crisis in the country has already affected the educational publishers, since the government is holding its purchases, programs and even payments. The market is uncertain and timorous with regard to what 2017 will bring.