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Education Publishing House: is it making a profit or taking a loss? The controversy continues.

VietNamNet Bridge - The Education Publishing House (EPH) reported that it incurs a loss of VND40 billion each year in printing and distributing textbooks.
VietNamNet Bridge - The Education Publishing House (EPH) reported that it incurs a loss of VND40 billion each year in printing and distributing textbooks.


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Publishing is carried out in accordance with the Education and Publishing Laws



However, its financial report shows that it makes a profit of VND150 billion, though textbooks account for 60 percent of revenue.

EPH on September 21 held a meeting with the press to provide information about the printing and distribution of textbooks. 

The meeting was held amid the public’s anger over the textbook shortage that plagued large cities at the beginning of the academic year, and the monopoly in textbook publishing and distribution.

EPH’s general director Hoang Le Bach affirmed that publishing is carried out in accordance with the Education and Publishing Laws.

In principle, textbooks, after being compiled and edited, must get approval from an inspection team before they are signed into publishing by Minister of Education and Training. 

In principle, textbooks, after being compiled and edited, must get approval from an inspection team before they are signed into publishing by Minister of Education and Training

The content of textbooks must not be amended without the education ministry’s approval. The content of textbooks has remained unchanged since 2002-2008, when the textbooks were first published.

Also according to Bach, because the cost of the textbook printing has been increasing while the selling price must remain unchanged, the revenue from textbook distribution is not high enough to cover expenses. 

As a result, EPH has been taking a loss with its textbook publishing.

Bach showed a State Audit’s report released on January 26, 2018 about the EPH’s 2016 financial report saying that the publishing house incurred a loss of VND43.8 billion from textbook publishing and distribution in 2015. 

The figures were VND43.3 billion in 2016 and VND38.14 billion in 2017.

Meanwhile, the EPH’s latest finance report sent to the Enterprise Development Agency that Tien Phong’s reporters received shows that the publishing house has been flourishing. 

Its net profit in 2017 was VND145 billion, or twice as much as 2016. If counting the profit of VND5.8 billion from other sources, the publishing house got VND150.8 billion in pre-tax profit in 2017.

Following the success, EPH set high targets for this year: VND1.18 trillion in revenue, VND1.13 trillion in net revenue, VND82 billion in pre-tax and VND74.6 billion in post-tax profit.

The high profits of EPH have become a hot topic of discussion on education forums. Parents believe that the publishing houses earn big money because of the monopoly and the one-time textbook policy.

The statement that EPH is incurring losses from textbook publishing cannot satisfy the public. Why does EPH still offer the high two-digit discount rate to distribution agents if it incurs a big loss of VND40 billion a year? Why does EPH still insist on acting as the only publisher if it continuously taking losses? The questions remain unanswered.


US$1=VND22,000


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