Faber records loss in latest financial year

Faber records loss in latest financial year

Faber saw a drop in turnover for the year ending March 2015, with a significant increase in its operating loss from the previous 12 months.

The publisher’s turnover was £15.9m, down 1.8% from £16.2m the year before.

Faber made an operating loss of £813,000, up from £5,000 in the 12 months to March 2014. The operating loss including a “substantial one-off restructuring cost”, said the firm’s business review in its directors’ report and financial statements.

Stephen Page, c.e.o. of Faber, told The Bookseller: “The first half of the year, in terms of changes in the market and the way our list connected, was tough.

“We think real change has happened to some of the structures of the market… [and] maybe our list wasn’t as strong as it might have been in the first part of the year.”

In March this year Faber made eight jobs redundant following a restructure of the company.

And in early 2015 Faber also ended its partnership with American publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux (FSG) after 17 years, and a few months later launched a new partnership with Perseus Books Group, which sees it publishing directly in the US.

Page said: “The reason we restructured was because we felt we understood the balance of the market.

“There are fewer high street specialist bookshops. Waterstones are strong but [their strategy is not one] that can support a broad list from every publisher.

“Our view is that we have to be careful about what we publish and be clear about why we are publishing it.”

Faber won a number of awards for its books in 2014/15, including the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014 for Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, the Folio Prize 2015 for Akhil Sharma’s Family Life, and the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2014 for Katherine Rundell’s Rooftoppers.

Page said: “A lot of literary awards help build a writer’s career but there aren’t so many that create hits.”

Strong-selling titles for Faber in the second half of the year included Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant and Lionel Davidson’s Kolymsky Heights.

But, said Page: “We didn’t do enough in the second half of the year to offset the difficulties of the first half.”

Page recently appointed Mitzi Angel to the new role of publisher for all its adult publishing. Angel, who will begin her role in the coming weeks and who was previously at FSG, “adds acquiring power”, said Page.

Faber’s results said that Faber Academy revenue “suffered during the early part of the year” because of internal disruption, but it ended the year “performing strongly again” as the team is now “under new leadership”.

Nielsen BookScan TCM sales for Faber for the first half of 2015 stood at £6.3m, 17% up on the first half of 2014.