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HarperCollins turnover up but profits drop

HarperCollins saw a rise in turnover but a fall in profits last year, according to its results for the year ended 30th June 2012, with UK e-book sales growing by 250% and accounting for nearly 15% of trade revenue over the period.

The company's international turnover (excluding the US) rose 4% from £254m to £263.5m, but operating profits slipped from more than £12.3m in 2011 to just over £9.8m in 2012, a fall of 20%. Profits after tax were £7.6m, down from £9.3m in 2011, a decline of around 18%.

The statement accompanying the results, filed with Companies House last week, said that HarperCollins "achieved good revenue growth". However, it added: "Operating margin reduced from 5.6% to 4.4% due to varying reasons across territories, principally to exchange rate fluctuation which had an adverse impact on the underlying business, as did restructuring costs and the cost associated with the OFT/EU investigation.”

The report accompanying the international results noted successes in the UK. It said: "There was a 10% increase in physical market share, e-book sales grew by 250%, accounting for nearly 15% of trade revenue in the year." It also said that its Avon imprint, which focuses on women's commercial fiction, saw a 72% increase in revenues, mainly in the e-book market.

The report also mentioned the successes of several individual titles, including Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel, who became the first women to win the Man Booker Prize twice.

On the information side of the business, the report said that the Geo team now have a "market share with 70% of the adult World Atlas Market".

HarperCollins operates in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and India. It is owned by Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp, and will be included in the publishing arm of the business when NewsCorp divides itself later in the year.