Pearson’s commitment to publishing allowed it to widen the company’s lead as the world’s largest book publisher in 2011. While Pearson, with holdings in both the trade and educational publishing segments, was able to increase its revenue last year, its closest rivals lost ground, according to Livres Hebdo/Publishers Weekly’s annual ranking of the world’s largest publishers. Second place Reed Elsevier, for example, saw its publishing sales fall as it had created a risk management division, which has no book-related sales.
Among other top 10 companies, Hachette Livre sales dipped due to spotty softness worldwide, including a small decline in the U.S. Grupo Planeta sales were also off in 2011, and with economic conditions worsening in Spain the publisher faces a difficult 2012. Softness in the school market resulted in a decline in sales at McGraw-Hill Education in 2011, but the company remained the largest U.S.-based book publisher.