Profile Books has experienced “pleasing” results with turnover up 14% to £11.8m for the financial year April 2015 to March 2016.
Following the “record-breaking results” of 2014-15 in which the publisher's turnover exceeded £10m for the first time, 2015-16 was “another strong financial year” for the company, it said. Turnover was up 14% to £11.8m and operating profit stood at just over £1.3m, up from just under £1m a year earlier.
The publisher credited its "exceptional" year to stand-out hits including Mary Beard’s SPQR, which "performed outstandingly" with hardback sales over 70,000. The film tie-in edition of Alan Bennett’s The Lady In the Van, published jointly with Faber & Faber, was another strong performer for the publisher, selling over 300,000 across all editions. Tuskar Rock’s I Love Dick became a "cult hit" with sales of over 12,000 copies in hardback and e-book.
The current financial year has "started well", according to the publisher, with Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent selling over 33,000 copies in all editions and the paperback to come in 2017. The paperback of Mary Beard’s SPQR, published in April, has sold over 115,000 copies in paperback. The company said it was looking forward to a "strong autumn" with highlights including Alan Bennett’s new collection of diaries Keeping On Keeping On, which will be published jointly with Faber & Faber on Super Thursday (20th October) and Serpent’s Tail’s Get a Life by Vivienne Westwood.
The company did not break out its digital sales.
Andrew Franklin, managing director of Profile, said: "This was another very good year for Profile Books. The independent sector seems to be in pretty good fettle, but in the end it is never about the sector – nor scale. What matters is our books and what we do with them. We have an incredibly talented team of people and we have had the privilege of publishing truly outstanding authors – the sort that anyone would eat their hat to have the chance to read, let alone publish."
A report into the health of independent publishers from the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) published earlier this week revealed that the sector is growing and “thriving”, with 48% of publishers belieiving their business is growing. However, Brexit materialised as the most significant issue facing publishers at the moment.