Polly Powell buys out Anova

Polly Powell buys out Anova

Anova Books chief executive Polly Powell has acquired the entire shareholding of the company from fellow directors Robin Wood and David Proffit, who will now step down from their roles.

Powell, Wood and Proffit founded the company in 2005. Wood will now take up a position as non-executive director of the publisher, while Proffit will leave the company.

The company releases around 150 non-fiction titles a year, with a large part of its business coming from co-editions and distribution arrangements in the US and other overseas markets. It publishes under several imprints, including Pavilion, Collins and Brown, Portico and National Trust Books, focussing on food and drink, craft and heritage.

The company's last set of financial figures, for the 12 months ending 28th February 2013, showed a loss on ordinary activities before taxation of £254,996, down from a profit of £25,483 in the previous year. Turnover decreased 19% to £8.8m. In the director's report, a statement said "difficult trading conditions" impacted on earnings, but added that the business was finding "new sales opportunities within the the UK and overseas".

Powell said: "The company has achieved a huge amount over the last eight years under the triumvirate of Robin, David and me and the legacy is not something I take lightly. We had a challenging period from mid- 2012 to mid-2013 and it gave us all a chance to reappraise the business in a really constructive and forward looking way. There will be some changes but I am a great believer in evolution rather than revolution and the new ‘us’ will be unveiled at the London Book Fair."

She told The Bookseller that the "challenging period" referred to the time around the Olympics, when a lack of footfall to heritage sights and in the capital affected Anova sales. Powell added that she expected business to return to normal.

Wood described the new ownership as "a natural next step for the company".