If there were an Oprah Book Club for science, research, and education, books and journals published by John Wiley & Sons might be frequently featured. The company publishes scientific, technical, and medical works, including journals and reference works such as Current Protocols and Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. In total, it publishes more than 1,600 journal titles. It also produces professional and nonfiction trade books, and is a publisher of college textbooks. The firm publishes the For Dummies how-to series, too. Wiley has publishing, marketing, and distribution centers in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Wiley's recently streamlined its operating segments into Research, Professional/Trade, and Education.
Accounting for almost 60% of revenue, the Research segment provides digital and print scientific, technical, medical and scholarly journals, reference works, books, database services and advertising. Its online component, Wiley Online, provides access to 4 million articles from 1,600 journals and 15,000 books, and hundreds of reference works and databases. The division's Wiley-Blackwell unit is a leading publisher of journals and books for the academic, research, and professional markets focused on science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and humanities.
Professional/Trade publishes digital and print books, online assessment and training services, and test preparation and certification. It brings in about 20% of Wiley's revenue in helping financials analysts, and other professional, become chartered or certified.
The other 20%-or-so of revenue comes from the Education segment. It, too, provides digital and print content as well as online program management service for higher education and course management tools.
Wiley has its headquarters in New Jersey and has operations elsewhere in the US as well as Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The US accounts for just more than half of revenue with 14% coming from Asia and 7% from the UK.
Wiley's revenue nudged up 1% to $1.78 billion in 2014 (ended April) from 2013. Contributions from recent acquisitions helped boost revenue. The company also saw growth in journal subscriptions and in digital books and other digital products. Net income jumped 11% to $160.5 million in 2014 from $144.2 million in 2013.
In recent years, Wiley has divested assets in its Professional/Trade including Frommer's, Betty Crocker, Weight Watchers, CliffsNotes, and Webster's New World brands. Wiley has stated it is making the divestiture to accelerate its digital transformation, drive long-term growth, and focus on its core operations.
Part of Wiley's strategy is to acquire companies to open it to new markets or to fill gaps in the markets it serves. In 2014, made several acquisitions of this nature.
About 67% of the company's biggest segment comes from subscriptions to scholarly and academic journals, which charge for access to the articles. There have been calls to provide access at least to research funded by the public. Several alternate journals have been started to provide open access to such research. Although Wiley has acknowledged that open access is a threat to its business model, it has not articulated an answer.
Meanwhile, the company has found new sources of revenue in strategic partnerships and licensed content. Wiley is the exclusive global publisher of Bloomberg and Bloomberg Businessweek branded books, marketed as "BLOOMBERG PRESS®, a Wiley imprint." In addition, the company publishes Meredith books in the lifestyles, pets, and education categories, and has the rights to publish a list of business and modern language textbooks from Cengage Learning.
Mergers & Acquisitions
In 2014, Wiley acquired Elan Guides, an early-stage Chartered Financial Analyst test preparation company. Elan’s CFA materials will be incorporated into Wiley’s CPA Excel test preparation platform.
Also in 2014, the company bought Profiles International for $48 million. Profiles provides pre-employment assessment and selection tools that enable employers to improve candidate selections and develop employees.
In another 2014 acquisition, Wiley picked up CrossKnowledge Group Limited for $175 million in cash. CrossKnowledge focuses on leadership and managerial skills training and development. It offers subscription-based, digital learning services for small, medium, and big companies and universities. It has had 5 million end-users in 80 countries speaking 17 languages.
Stepping back to 2013, Wiley acquired FIZ Chemie Berlin, a provider of online database products for organic and industrial chemists.
The Wiley family controls the majority of voting stock (about 55%) through a trust.