Profitability up and 'robust' sales at Pavilion despite fall in UK heritage revenues

Profitability up and 'robust' sales at Pavilion despite fall in UK heritage revenues

Pavilion Books Group has reported "robust sales" and increased profitability in its financial results for the year ending 28th February 2021, despite an 80% drop in revenue from the UK heritage sector. 

The company generated a turnover of £10.3m, in line with last year, with an increase in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of more than 50% on the previous year. The EBITDA performance was mainly attributed to lower office and travel costs, along with the postponement of titles in the publishing programme.

Pavilion also said sales of e-books almost doubled compared to the previous year, with a rise of 94%. However, UK turnover fell 13% on the previous year, though the company saw an increase of 11% in the US and an increase in coedition sales. Underlying figures behind the percentages have not yet been published.

The company pointed out a sizeable proportion of the business was previously based on heritage and gift stores, which were closed for the majority of the year.

Notable successes in the period included James May’s Oh Cook!, which accompanied an Amazon Prime TV series, and "Junior Bake Off" judge Ravneet Gill’s The Pastry Chef’s Guide. A rise in interest in colouring as a lockdown activity helped to boost sales of Millie Marotta’s colouring books, with her 2020 release Millie Marotta’s Woodland Wild leading the pack, while Netflix hit "The Queen’s Gambit" resulted in a surge in sales of the Batsford Chess series. Harry Potter Knitting Magic and Vintage Rolex also sold well. 

Zana Hanks, m.d. of Pavilion, commented: “In the full year to the end of February 2021, Pavilion delivered solid financial and operational results, in spite of the extremely challenging start to the year during the first lockdown, when revenues plummeted. I am extremely grateful to the Pavilion team, whose resilience and focus enabled us to replace an 80% drop in revenue from the UK heritage sector with an increase in online and digital sales. Pavilion has also reassessed its access to markets and is currently in the process of reviewing sales and distribution partners around the world, which we believe will lead to an increase in revenue in the current financial year.”