Sales grow 70% in first half at The Book Depository

The Book Depository grew sales by more than 70% in the half-year to December 2010, with revenue now expected to be £120m in its full year, almost double what it achieved the year before.

Sales increased to £60m up from last year’s sales of £35m. Kieron Smith, managing director of the online bookseller, said sales growth was "across the board", with the weakness of the pound a fillip for the business. The company ships free of charge to more than 100 countries, with overseas sales making up about two-thirds of the overall business.

Smith said he was "very pleased" by the growth, adding that "it will be even more interesting this year" with the development of foreign language title sales. It will also assess whether it needs a physical presence overseas. At the moment all books are shipped via its Gloucester-based warehouse.

Smith said the business had also been picking up sales from the UK, with home sales expected to be about £30m in its full-year. Despite the problems on the high street Smith said he would not rule out having physical outlets in the future. "The high street is very difficult, but we are not ruling it out. I'm convinced there is a right mix out there that is a combination of the two."

Developments in the shorter term include the public launch of its self-publishing website Espressio and a separate site selling DVDs and video games.

In the year to end-June 2010 The Book Depository reported sales of £69m, and made an operating profit of £2.3m. Smith refused to be drawn on profit expectations for the next fiscal year, except that the company remained profitable.