Parragon reports sales drop of 4.9%

Parragon reports sales drop of 4.9%

Overall sales for Bath-based publisher Parragon Books were down £3m year-on-year to £58.6m in the 12 months ending 31st March 2016, according to results filed at Companies House.

Parragon attributed the drop to "a decline in the UK market caused by reduced consumer demand for previously highly successful properties" However the UK drop-off was partly offset by the growth in US sales.

Overall turnover for the company was £58.6m, which represented a 4.9% fall from £61.6m in 2015. Turnover for the UK was £21.9m, down 14.1% from £25.5m the previous year, while sales in North America were up 24.4% to £14.8m in 2016, an increase from £11.9m in 2015.

Earlier this year, The Bookseller reported that Parragon has plans to “grow significantly” in the US in the next five years. The company has put in place a new American publishing team which started up in September.

Sales in outher European countries were £13.4m, down marginally from £13.6m last year, and sales in Australasia were down £7.6m in 2016 from £9.6m in 2015. Turnover for the rest of the world also decreased to £945k from £1.1m.

Although sales were down, gross profit for the company increased by £4.7m to £14.8m in 2016.

A statement from the company read: "In the year ended 31st March 2016, company sales decreased by £3m largely driven by decline in the UK market reflective of consumer demand moving away from previously highly successful properties offset by growth in sales to the group US entity benefitting from new business and licences.

"Although recognising sales decline in the year, gross profits increased by £4m as the company and management continue to work on improving the financial shape of the business and return to operating profit. This improvement in gross profit flows through to improvement in the operating return of the business (before exceptional items) at £4m year-on-year."

Parragon is part of D C Thomson & Company Limited.