Bloomsbury: e-books at 9% of adult trade sales in 2010/11

Bloomsbury: e-books at 9% of adult trade sales in 2010/11

E-books accounted for 9% of Bloomsbury's adult trade sales overall across the 12 months to 29th February 2012, chief executive Nigel Newton has revealed.

Newton said the sales were weighted towards the latter part of the 12-month period.

Bloomsbury's total group digital sales stood at £5.892m, at 6% by value of group continuing sales, doubling from 3% in 2011. E-books accounted for 9% of adult trade sales; 4% of childrens and education; 2% of academic and professional; and 1% of information.

But the total was heavily weighted towards the US, with e-books representing 23% of US sales but just 3% of UK sales. Meanwhile a substantial part of Bloomsbury's digital sales were in areas where e-books do not have the same impact, for example through academic online subscription.

Bloomsbury this morning (22nd May) announced an 11.5% rise in turnover to £103.2m (up from £92.6m in 2011) for the year ending 29th February 2012. Total continuing turnover was up 16.9% to £97.4m (£83.3m). Pre-tax profit was up 13.6% to £4.8m (£4.3m). The Bloomsbury chief concluded that the publisher was "in a very healthy position in this dynamic market place" and had a "robust and balanced business".

Newton also told The Bookseller that Bloomsbury was looking to "recreate the excitement of waiting" for forthcoming Harry Potter titles by releasing just one volume a year in the forthcoming illustrated version of the Harry Potter series. 

The "heavily" illustrated series will launch in autumn 2013, with "pictures on every spread", said Newton. "They will come out one year apart, and it will recreate the excitement of waiting for the books," he added.

Meanwhile a Hogwarts Library boxed set comprising J K Rowling's Comic Relief titles Quidditch Through The Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where They Come From, as well as Tales of Beedle the Bard, will be released in October. The £25 set will be of beautifully produced hardcover editions in a gift slipcase.