In a trading update, Bloomsbury has said it expects its annual revenue and profit to be "well ahead" of market expectations for the financial year ending 28th February 2021, although down on 2020's figures.
The board considers that the consensus market expectation for the year ending 28th February 2021 is currently revenue of £161.8m and profit before taxation and highlighted items of £12.1m, the publisher announced. This would represent a 0.6% decrease on 2020 revenue (£162.8m) and a 22.9% drop in profit (£15.7m in 2020).
The latest update follows on from the company's highest first half earnings since 2008, announced in the autumn.
Bloomsbury reported continued strong trading in the Consumer division, for both adult and children’s publishing. Standout bestsellers in the second half of its financial year to date include the new titles Eat Better Forever by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Outlawed, Joe Biden - American Dreamer and Rutger Bregman's Humankind, as well as strong backlist sales of Harry Potter, Sarah J Maas, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, Kiley Reid's Such a Fun Age and cookbook Dishoom.
The company has reported its Academic and Professional divisions also continue to "make good progress", in addition to the publisher's digital resources.
Meanwhile, John Warren will step down from the board at the conclusion of Bloomsbury’s 2021 a.g.m., taking place in July. Warren joined the board in 2015 and is the senior independent director and chair of the audit committee. It is expected he will be succeeded by Leslie-Ann Reed. The board has recently appointed of Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey as a non-executive director.
Bloomsbury will provide an update with its preliminary results in June 2021.
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