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29 July 2019 /

Strong growth at Cambridge University Press

A continuing focus on digital products and services has helped Cambridge University Press to a year of strong growth while pursuing its mission to advance learning, knowledge and research. The impressive performance allowed the Press to continue its investment in new and innovative learning and research solutions that help people around the globe to unlock their potential.

The Press’s newly-published annual report for 2018/19 shows a rise in operating profits from £17.2 to £24.4 million – an increase of more than 40 per cent – driven by strong sales growth and a continued focus on controlling costs. Revenues of £327 million were up by an industry leading five per cent in constant currency terms.

The Press’s Chief Executive, Peter Phillips, said: “Digital technology is disruptive and demands heavy investment. But it offers us greater opportunities to fulfil our purpose as part of the University, to advance learning, knowledge and research worldwide. It allows us to extend our already large international footprint, reaching customers around the globe instantly, and to develop better experiences for teachers, learners and researchers, using their data to help them.”

Among the many new products and services launched during the year, highlights included:

For researchers:

  • The launch of Cambridge Elements, a new, digital-first publishing model for world-class research and writing that sits in between the traditional formats of book or journal article. Enabled by the increased speed, flexibility and versatility of digital, the move was in direct response to the concerns of researchers who felt constrained by established models of scholarly publishing.
  • The Press continued its bold approach to ‘read and publish’ deals, which it sees as an important stepping stone in a sustainable transition to open access. This included a landmark agreement with the University of California in one of the first - and the largest – such open access deals reached by a publisher in the USA.
  • A new, open platform was announced for early stage research, pre-prints and research collaboration, Cambridge Open Engage, with the American Political Science Association as its first partner.
  • Cambridge Core Share, the first sharing service launched by a university press, went live in September, allowing journal content to be shared quickly, easily and responsibly online.

For teachers and students:

  • Shortly after the year end, the Press and its sister organisation, Cambridge Assessment, agreed to the acquisition of the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) from Durham University. One of the most respected research groups supplying formative assessments for children, CEM is a digital business, providing user-friendly assessment tools and helping teachers to use evidence to plan students’ learning journeys.
  • The Press also worked with Cambridge Assessment to develop the Cambridge Curriculum, a single, systemic approach to learning and evaluating proficiency in English, and the Cambridge Framework for Life Competencies, which supports educators and their students in the development of important skills like critical thinking and teamwork alongside their language and subject learning.
  • Cambridge One, the new digital learning environment for English language learners and teachers, was developed and launched in just six months, giving more personalised and detailed feedback about their performance, plus recommendations for improvement.

Peter Phillips said: “All of this demonstrates how the Press contributes to society by furthering the mission of our University.

“Our ability to develop the new products and services our customers require, and to invest in the technology to support that, depends on our financial performance.

“So it’s particularly pleasing to achieve strong growth ahead of our markets. None of this would have been possible without the continuing passion, commitment and skill of Press people around the world. I am hugely grateful to all of them.”

Follow the link to read the full report

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