Barack and backlist drive Canongate to 'record results'

<p>Canongate Books has announced &quot;record results&quot; for 2008, with operating profit up some 965% to &pound;2.6m, while turnover rose from &pound;8m in 2007 to &pound;14.7m. </p><p>The Edinburgh-based publisher said its &quot;remarkable performance&quot; had been driven by &quot;significant sales&quot; from frontlist titles such as Barack Obama&#39;s <em>Dreams From My Father</em> and <em>The Audacity of Hope, The Mighty Book of Boosh</em>, David Simon&#39;s <em>Homicide</em> and Richard &amp; Judy picks<em> The Gargoyle </em>by Andrew Davidson and Rebecca Miller&#39;s <em>The Private Lives of Pippa Lee</em>.</p><p><em> </em>The year also saw &quot;record backlist sales&quot;. Jamie Byng, publisher and m.d, said: &quot;2008 was an excellent year for Canongate, one in which the company delivered record results both in turnover and profits. After the challenges of the previous year, this was especially satisfying because much of the success of &#39;08 was due to key strategic decisions made in &#39;06 and &#39;07, one of which was to build the non-fiction side of our list.&quot;</p><p>Last year, Byng had dubbed 2007 &quot;unquestionably bad&quot; as pretax profits more than halved, from &pound;683,000 to &pound;271,000, while turnover dropped from &pound;8.1m to &pound;8m.</p><p>This time around, he described 2008 as &quot;a vindication of the company&#39;s publishing philosophy&quot;. He added: &quot;It was gratifying to be voted Publisher of the Year [at the British Book Awards] for the second time in seven years.&quot;</p><p>The group&#39;s unaudited results show the first half of 2009 has continued in the same vein, with turnover to 30th June up from &pound;3.4m to &pound;7.35m. The publisher said it was &quot;on course to deliver another strong set of annual results&quot;. </p>