Faber has reported another "exceptionally good year", with turnover coming in at £23.4m for the year ending 31st March 2021—the best in the company's history.
The publisher's top-line turnover was up 12% from £20.9m the year before. Faber said the result was "well ahead of expectation", and better than 2019's previous £22.2m record. Operating profit came in at £2.9m, a 12% increase on 2020's £2.6m, while profit after tax increased 13% to £2.2m.The publisher said rights and commission incomes in the year were hit by the impact of Covid-19 but still made a "significant contribution".
Faber said there was growth across almost every area of the publishing, with fiction particularly boosted by the BBC's adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People, alongside debut successes such as Ingrid Persaud’s Love After Love and Rebecca Watson’s little scratch. It also reported strong sales in paperback for André Aciman’s Find Me and Richard & Judy Book Club pick Peter Swanson’s Rules for Perfect Murders, while notable novels followed from Andrew O’Hagan, John Banville and Kazuo Ishiguro.
Standout non-fiction included the QI Elves’ Funny You Should Ask, Anthony Quinn’s Klopp, Alex Bellos’ The Language Lovers’ Puzzle Book and Kae Tempest’s On Connection. Among titles that performed particularly well in children's fiction were Emma Carroll’s Letters to the Lighthouse, Natasha Farrant's Costa Book Award-winning novel The Voyage of the Sparrowhawk, and On Midnight Beach by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, which was shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. My Hair by Hannah Lee, illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan, has been longlisted for a string of prizes including the UKLA Book Awards, Klaus Flugge Prize and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, and shortlisted for the Diverse Book Awards, among others.
M.d. Mary Cannam, (pictured) said: “The company’s performance in 2020-21 was exceptional: a record year for both revenue and profit. We published an excellent list throughout the year. I’m very proud of how the whole company pulled together to make the year such a success. We have an extraordinary, resilient, innovative and collegiate team at Faber and they showed—and continue to show—exceptional commitment and energy in delivering the very best results no matter what the surrounding circumstances."
She added: "We ended the year in a strong financial position and with a new long-term strategic plan in place. The 2021 financial year is progressing well, and I am very excited about our future."
In addition to its financial success, the publisher has received and been shortlisted for a number of high-profile literary prizes, including the 2020 International Booker Prize, which was won by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld for The Discomfort of Evening, translated by Michele Hutchison. Tsitsi Dangarembga's This Mournable Body was also shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize.
Faber said it has asserted its commitment to educating and training staff in diversity and allyship, in addition to continuing to address "the representation of under-represented voices" in its publishing. Elsewhere, the company has increased the number of volunteering days allowed for staff, with initiatives including weekly sessions with literacy charity TutorMate.
During the pandemic, the publishing housed particpated in the government's furlough scheme and received grants totalling £260,000. The full amount was repaid to HM Revenue & Customs in March 2021.