An updated version of this article based on more recent data is available here.

The growing complexity of international book publishing is reflected in this year’s ranking of the world’s largest publishers. While Pearson once again maintained its top spot as the world’s biggest publisher, currency fluctuations, consolidations, the digital transition, and the emergence of China all played a part in altering the makeup of the companies that hit the Livres Hebdo/Publishers Weekly annual global ranking.

(Scroll down to see the full list)

Two Chinese publishers made the top 10 list for 2014; it’s possible they would have hit the list earlier if information had been available. Phoenix Publishing and Media Company is the sixth largest publisher on the ranking this year, with sales of $2.84 billion, an increase of 16% over 2013, while China South Publishing & Media Group is in the seventh spot with revenue of $2.58 billion, an increase of 31%. In all, four Chinese publishers qualified for the ranking in 2014, by virtue of meeting the requirement of having $200 million in sales as well being willing and able to document their figures.

The greater financial transparency by China’s publishing giants is in keeping with their goal of becoming a much more important factor in the international publishing scene. As part of that objective, China mounted a massive presence at this year’s BookExpo America, which included a 25,000-sq.-ft. exhibit space and had more than 500 publishing executives and authors in attendance. In addition to the massive exhibit, China’s publishing executives took part in a number of panels; one of those executives was Phoenix president Xiaoping Wu. In his remarks, he noted that Phoenix’s $80 million purchase in summer 2014 of the children’s publishing unit of Publications International Ltd. (PIL), based in Lincolnwood, Ill., was just one step in setting up children’s publishing operations around the world.

Previous international efforts by Phoenix included an agreement with Hachette Livre in 2009 and the opening of a U.K. office in 2012. The company recently opened an investment holding company in New York.

While Phoenix Publishing and China South shook up the top 10 ranking for 2014, the top four publishers are all familiar names (although Reed Elsevier has rebranded itself as Relx Group) and specialize in the education and professional markets. The ability of professional and educational publishers to remain so large is due to a combination of acquisitions and their expansion of the digital delivery of information, the revenue of which is included in compiling the ranking. Revenue from the top 10 publishers combined accounted for 54% of all revenue generated by the 57 companies on the list, up from 53% in 2013.

Penguin Random House remained the world’s largest trade publisher last year. Sales rose 25% over 2013, to more than $4 billion, due primarily to the Penguin merger (completed July 1, 2013) and the purchase of Santillana Ediciones Generales (completed July 1, 2014). (The 2013 results do not include sales for Penguin for the first six months of that year.)

Acquisitions will certainly have impact on the ranking next year. HarperCollins’s Aug. 1, 2014, purchase of Harlequin is not included in the most recent ranking, since HC’s revenue is from the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014. Harlequin, which was #42 in 2013, is excluded in the most recent ranking since it became part of HC last year. Harlequin will add as much as $400 million to HC’s $1.43 billion in revenue in fiscal 2014. Scholastic’s sale of its educational publishing technology group to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in April will bring those two U.S.-based companies closer together in terms of revenue. The technology group had sales of $249 million in Scholastic’s fiscal year ended May 31, 2014, when the company had total revenue of $1.82 billion; HMH’s sales in 2014 were just about flat with 2013, at $1.37 billion.

The biggest deal affecting players in the ranking, however, was the merger of Macmillan Science and Education with Springer Science and Business Media. This merger, which was completed in May 2015, created a new company, called Springer Nature, which is 53% controlled by Holtzbrinck (parent company of the former Macmillan Science and Education). Macmillan’s trade and U.S. college publishing divisions were not included in the merger. Another deal combining companies in the ranking involved two of Brazil’s largest publishers and was announced this June when Abril Educacao agreed to buy Editora Saraiva, the publishing divisions of Saraiva Group. The deal involves all of Saraiva’s school business, as well as all its publishing imprints, including the Benvirá trade unit. Saraiva’s retail business, however, is not being sold.

One final factor that effected the ranking in 2014 was the most volatile currency market in recent years. To maintain consistency, all currency conversions were based at exchange rates at the end of each year. If conversions had been done based on rates earlier in 2014, some companies would have been ranked one position higher, including Relx, Hachette Livre, and Simon & Schuster.

Rank 2015 Rank 2014 Publishing Group or Division Parent Company Parent Country 2014 Revenue in $M 2013 Revenue in $M
1 1 Pearson Pearson PLC UK $7,072 $7,801
2 3 ThomsonReuters The Woodbridge Company Ltd. Canada $5,760 $5,576
3 2 RELX Group Reed Elsevier PLC & Reed Elsevier NV UK/NL/US $5,362 $6,093
4 4 Wolters Kluwer Wolters Kluwer NL $4,455 $4,920
5 5 Penguin Random House Bertelsmann AG Germany $4,046 $3,664*
6 NEW Phoenix Publishing and Media Company Phoenix Publishing and Media Company China $2,840 $2,781
7 NEW China South Publishing & Media Group Co., Ltd China South Publishing & Media Group Co., Ltd China $2,579 $2,237
8 6 Hachette Livre Lagardere France $2,439 $2,851
9 10 McGraw-Hill Education Apollo Global Management LLC US $2,190 (Est.) $1,992
10 7 Holtzbrinck Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck Germany $2,000 $2,222
11 8 Grupo Planeta Grupo Planeta Spain $1,943 $2,161
12 11 Scholastic Scholastic US $1,822 $1,792
12 12 Wiley Wiley US $1,822 $1,761
14 9 Cengage Learning Holdings II LP Apax and Omers Capital Partners US/Canada $1,708 $1,747
15 14 China Publishing Group Corporation China Publishing Group Corporation China $1,495 $1,499
16 16 Harper Collins News Corp. US $1,434 $1,369
17 15 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company US/Cayman Islands $1,372 $1,379
18 13 De Agostini Editore Gruppo De Agostini Italy $1,367 N/A
19 18 Oxford University Press Oxford University UK $1,181 $1,254
20 17 Springer Science and Business Media EQT and GIC Investors; Sweden, Singapore $1,167 $1,301
21 21 China Education Publishing & Media Holdings Co. Ltd. China Education Publishing & Media Holdings Co. Ltd. China $1,108 $1,152
22 20 Informa Informa plc UK $1,075 $1,185
23 19 Shueisha Hitotsubashi Group Japan $1,033 $1,191
24 22 Kodansha Ltd. Kodansha Ltd. Japan $997 $1,143
25 23 Egmont Group Egmont International Holding A/S Denmark $896 $1,101
26 25 Shogakukan Hitotsubashi Group Japan $859 $1,011
27 26 Bonnier The Bonnier Group Sweden $836 $976
28 24 Grupo Santillana PRISA SA Spain $793 $1,020
29 27 Kadokawa Publishing Kadokawa Holdings Inc. Japan $793 $900
30 28 Simon & Schuster CBS US $778 $809
31 30 Woongjin ThinkBig Woongjin Holding Korea $577 $616
32 29 Klett Klett Gruppe Germany $560 $622
33 31 Groupe Madrigall Madrigall France $531 N/A
34 32 Les Editions Lefebvre-Sarrut Frojal France $482 $559
35 34 Messagerie / GeMS Messagerie Italiane Italy $460 $543
36 35 Media Participations Media Participations Belgium $426 $481
37 36 Mondadori The Mondadori Group Italy $410 $462
38 39 Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press UK $409 $433
39 38 The Perseus Book Group The Perseus Book Group USA $400 N/A
40 NEW France Loisirs ACTISSIA SAS France $364
40 41 Westermann Verlagsgruppe Medien Union Germany $364 $401
42 40 Sanoma Sanoma WSOY Finland $355 $422
43 37 Cornelsen Cornelsen Germany $346 $456
44 43 Kyowon Co. Ltd. Kyowon Co. Ltd. Korea $312 $353
45 46 La Martinière La Martinière France $292 $329
46 48 Haufe Gruppe Privately owned Germany $285 $315
46 47 WEKA WEKA Firmengruppe Germany $286 $316
48 44 RCS Libri RCS Media Group Italy $271 $348
49 50 Gakken Co. Ltd. Gakken Co. Ltd. Japan $257 $297
50 51 Bungeishunju Ltd. Bungeishunju Ltd. Japan $216 $253
51 49 OLMA Media Group Privately owned Cyprus $213 $306
52 45 EKSMO Privately owned Russia $211 $343
53 54 Groupe Albin Michel Groupe Albin Michel France $204 $232
54 56 Saraiva Saraiva Brazil $199 $215
55 NEW Editora FTD Editora FTD Brazil $198 $199
56 55 Abril Educação Abril group Brazil $196 $216
57 52 Shinchosha Publishing Co, Ltd. Shinchosa Publishing Co, Ltd. Japan $176 N/A
Not ranked Harlequin Torstar Corp. Canada $343 $374

* 2013 Revenue figure is for Random House, before its merger with Penguin