Bloomsbury's revenues grow 19% in first half

Bloomsbury's revenues grow 19% in first half

Bloomsbury’s total revenues were up 19% to £62.7m for the six months ending 31st August 2016, which is “in line with management’s expectations”, though the company expects sales to be “significantly second-half weighted” due to Christmas sales and October being the "peak period" for academic book sales.

Print revenues grew 25% to £51.7m in the six months ending August 2016, from £41.4m in 2015, and made up 87% of the company's total title revenues in the period, demonstrating a “continued demand for books in print format”, the publisher said. Digital revenues grew 8% to £7.7m up from £7.1m for the same period in 2015.

Adjusted profit before taxation was down by £0.4m to £1.5m following the end of the term of the contract for publishing services with the Qatar Foundation, and rights and services revenues were also down from £4.1m in 2015 to £3.3m because of this. Reported profit before tax was £0.1m, down from £0.3m in 2015.

In May 2016, Bloomsbury reorganised from four to two divisions, consumer and non-consumer, to “simplify [the] business and increase its customer focus.” Consumer revenues increased by 36% to £37.3m in 2016, up from £27.5m for the same period in 2015. This was driven by the business' children’s trade which saw revenues increase 63% to £23.9m due to the success of key titles including the Harry Potter Box Set, the Illustrated Edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas.

Adult trade division revenues increased by 5% to £13.4m in the period, with the publisher pointing out Peter Frankopan's The Silk Roads and Hannah Rothschild's Bailey's Prize shortlisted The Improbability of Love as highlights.

Total revenues for the non-consumer division were £25.4m in the six months ending August 2016, up slightly from £25.2m in 2015. Academic and professional digital resources revenues doubled year-on-year to £2m in 2016.

Commenting on the results, Nigel Newton, chief executive of Bloomsbury Publishing, said: "This has been a strong period for Bloomsbury. We are making good progress towards our strategic objectives with an increase in revenues of 19% and growth in each of our territories. The Children's Trade division delivered another outstanding performance, increasing revenues by 63%.

“The Group is trading in line with management's expectations. We have a strong second half list including the Illustrated Edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Newt Scamander: A Movie Scrapbook, Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas, the Throne of Glass Colouring Book, Mad Enchantment by Ross King, Tom Kerridge's Dopamine Diet, Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, Bloomsbury Professional's Tax Looseleafs and Last Testament: In His Own Words by Pope Benedict XVI. October is the peak period for academic book sales and Christmas for the sales of consumer books. We therefore expect our results to continue to be significantly second-half weighted, as in past years.

“In the coming months we expect to deliver the platform and associated infrastructure to accelerate digital revenues in line with Bloomsbury's 2020 plan, and specifically to see the launch of the Arcadian Library Online and Bloomsbury Popular Music, the latest two resources in our growing range of digital products."

Bloomsbury’s full-year results for the year ending 29th February 2016 showed that overall revenue grew by 11% to £123.6m and profit before taxation increased by 8% to £13m. In the children's and education arm, revenue was up 57% to £41.8m.