History Press slashed losses in 2013

History Press slashed losses in 2013

The History Press dramatically slashed its losses in 2013, helped by a trade boost in the US and the sale of its German business.

The local and military history publisher reported an operating loss of £26,000 in the year to 31st December 2013, up from an operating loss of £892,000 in 2012. At the same time, group turnover increased marginally from £11.55m to £11.6m.

Stuart Biles, vice chairman of the History Press, said the publisher had substantially restructured its balance sheet and improved trading in 2013, particularly in the US.  Biles said: “The UK market continued to be challenging, particularly when measured against the substantial performance in 2012 driven by the success of our publishing around the Titanic 100 year anniversary.” He added: “Going forward, The History Press continues to focus on the UK market with a clear strategy for its development and a structure to maximise the opportunities we have identified.”

A business review in the company’s accounts filed on Companies House said the main risk facing the company was the overall reduction in the value of the global book market. However, it added: “The outlook over the last 12 months has improved, with the rate of decline slowing and with the impact of the digital migration reaching a plateau. The directors have taken significant steps to ensure the company is well-placed to target strong niche markets, have embraced digital sales opportunities and placed the remaining business in a position to ensure the wider risk is mitigated.”

The company also sold its German business Sutton Verlag to GeraNova Bruckmann Verlagshaus for an undisclosed sum, which completed in December 2013.

The publisher announced a company-wide restructure last month, creating four vertical, distinct business units; General History & Gift, Military & Transport, Local History and Pitkin, each headed by an individual publisher.

The History press also sold its US subsidiary to the America local history company Arcadia Publishing in July, but this sale will be reported in the group’s 2014 accounts.