Quercus directors up investment in company

Quercus chief executive Mark Smith (pictured), chairman David Potter and c.f.o. Colin Adams have all increased their investment in the publisher, bringing their joint share ownership up to 19% of the company's overall share capital.

Smith, who co-founded Quercus in 2004, has bought 17,241 shares of 0.8p at a price of 58p per share. He now owns 2,737,606 shares, representing 13.2% of the company's issued share capital. Adams has bought 12,500 ordinary shares, bringing his interest to 0.6%, and Potter 25,000, bringing his interest to to 1.71% of the total, with 325,272 ordinary shares.

Together, the Quercus directors now own 3,880,376 ordinary shares, 18.99% of the company's overall share capital (20,545,620).

On 25th January Quercus announced in an interim trading statement that its profit before tax in 2012 would be "significantly below market expectations". It blamed the drop on the non-delivery of an undisclosed "key Christmas title" which is now scheduled for release for Christmas 2013.

Quercus plans to launch in the US this September, signing with Random House Publisher Services to handle distribution of its print and digital titles. It intends to release 80 books in its first year alongside a backlist of UK e-books. Smith told Publishers Weekly that he hoped the US business would become profitable by 2014, and generate 20% of the company's total sales within five years.