The Book People will stay vigilant in “assessing the changing marketplace” going forward after the group reported a trading loss of £2.0m last year.
Annual financial results for the year to 31st December 2013 filed on Companies House have revealed the online and book delivery service’s trading losses increased from £1.7m in 2012 to £2.0m in 2013.
The loss of £6.8m previously reported referred to the loss after tax of accounts of The Book People Limited, a subsidiary of The Book People Group, which included “a £3.2m one off non trading adjustment to correct a historical discrepancy", according to Seni Glaister, c.e.o of The Book People.
The Book People Group accounts report that turnover dropped by nearly 10% year-on-year in 2013 to £83.8m.
Last month, the company revealed Glaister had led a management buyout backed by venture capital company Endless LLP, which also owns The Works.
Glaister led the management buyout from fellow co-founder Ted Smart, with Endless investing between £10-20m in the venture.
Just before the buyout, the company said online sales were up 18% since August 2014 after the company moved towards a more multichannel operation. The Book People has also confirmed it was “committed to selling the best books at the best prices, promoting reading for all ages and providing superb service.”
“During 2013 the directors have been working to move the business towards a more multi-channel operation, which has delivered some positive results with online sales up 18% to August 2014, and alongside the new investor, the directors will be working to improve and grow the operation further," the company's business review said. "The directors are now looking forward to working with its new investors to make the most of the significant opportunities available to leverage off its distributors channel to develop its multi-channel operations.”
The filing added that the directors considered the most important risk to the company to be “a failure to respond to changes in the bookselling marketplace, specifically to changes in the use of technology to both advertise and expedite delivery of our products.” However it added: “The directors are alert to the need to continue to assess the changing marketplace.. (and) continue to invest in technological solutions and this ongoing investment will ensure that the business remains at the forefront of the bookselling industry.”
The group financies its operations through bank borrowing, asset-based lending and other loans. As part of the management buy-out the group has refinanced certain of its facilities with new facilities controlled by Endless LLP, the filing said.