Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wiley Annual Report 2011: costs down, profits up

The John Wiley and Sons 2011 Annual Report is now available. From the Overview, in brief, revenue from Wiley's Scientific, Technical, Medical and Scholarly division (STMS) increased slightly to just under a billion U.S., while direct contribution to profit rose from 5 to 9% (for a direct contribution to profit of $425 million, or 42.5%) - from the Detailed Financials, p. 22.

From the Overview: Revenue growth and margin improvement due to outsourcing journal production were partially offset by higher operating costs from business growth.

Another way to express this: in 2011, John Wiley & Sons decreased their costs by outsourcing journal production. This decrease in costs was sufficient to pay for increase in growth (taking over more society journals) and to reduce their net debt, and still increase profit their profits by 5 to 9%.

Update December 21: note that the Wiley profit rate of 42.5% is an understatement of the total profit from Wiley journal subscription revenue. This is because close to half of Wiley journals are published on behalf of scholarly societies. These societies also make a profit from Wiley revenues, which is subtracted as a cost before calculating Wiley's net contribution to profit from journal subscriptions. The actual percentage of Wiley revenue that goes to profit for both Wiley and the societies is somewhere between the 42.5% and the Wiley Gross Profit Rate of 73.1% (see page 22 of the Detailed Financials. That's not a typo - this is a gross profit rate of seventy three point one percent).