Parragon Books restructure boosts profits to £19m

Parragon Books restructure boosts profits to £19m

Parragon Books has posted an operating profit of £19.4m in 2014 compared to a loss of £6m the year before, thanks to a company restructure earlier in the year.

For the year ending the 31st March 2014, turnover fell 14% to £48m from £56m but “the overall improvement in profitability was due to a reorganisation of the group trading”, the company's accounts, filed on Company's House, said.

However, sales were down 14% in the UK and also lower in all other territories, which the company attributed to the overall decline of the book market. Sales were up 50% to £6.9m in Australasia, however.

Going forward, Parragon intends to focus on growing the business "beyond books" it said.

“Books continue to decline so the focus of the business remains expanding beyond books into areas which utilize its core strengths while also growing in the core book business where appropriate," said Stewart Bailey, chief finance and information officer at Parragon Books. "The… reorganisation and strategic investment will continue into the next financial year as the company seeks to reposition itself long term to move beyond books and refine what it does in books.”

The company will look to grow organically but is “open to possible acquisitions”, he added.

The directors have not recommended paying a dividend for the year.

Parragon Books is owned by parent company DC Thomson Consumer Products, which announced in August that it had split Parragon Publishing into two divisions; Parragon Publishing and Parragon International.
The Bath-based illustrated publisher which specialises in cookbooks, adult non-fiction, cookbooks and licensed characters will concentrate on Parragon's core publishing operations in the UK, North America, and Australasia, headed by Paul Gregory, who is currently global publishing director.