Clays profit up as print sales surge

Clays profit up as print sales surge

Book printing company Clays Ltd has invested in its physical book-printing services, citing the decline of e-reader sales, the resurgence of public enthusiasm for print and the success of its new print self-publishing services.

In accounts filed at Companies House, Clays said that: “Sentiment within the physical book market has improved, with e-reader penetration appearing to have levelled off within the UK and US and with physical book volumes stable for the first time in a number of years.”

The company reported that pre-tax profit was slightly up for the year ending 31st July 2015, following a series of declines in recent years, though tunrover was marginally down.

The company’s total pre-tax profit for the year ending 31st July 2015 was £6.23m, compared with £6.02m the previous year, while total turnover was £67m, compared with £67.4m the year before. 

The printer also noted that its self-publishing service had seen “rapid volume growth”. While Clays had previously been offering light services for self-publishers, in 2013 the company began offering comprehensive services and consultancy to help with editorial, design production, distribution and marketing.

Print sales increased in 2015 for the first time in eight years, up 6.6%, according to Nielsen Bookscan.

In April, St Ives, the parent company of Clays, warned of lower profits for the final quarter of 2016 and the next financial year because of “global economic uncertainty”.

The company, which is mainly a marketing services provider, said worldwide economic problems is leading to greater caution in allocating marketing budgets.

The group said: “Recently, and within the digital segment in particular, we have observed an increase in this level of uncertainty and caution within our client base which has led to the cancellation and deferral of a number of significant projects. We are implementing targeted cost saving measures where appropriate but will not do so if this results in long term damage to the business.”