Profile's turnover drops following 'best ever' year

Profile's turnover drops following 'best ever' year

Profile has posted “healthy” end-of-year results for the financial year ending 31st March 2018, with turnover standing at £11.9m and operating profit at £1.09m.

The results represent a 6% drop in turnover and a 16% drop in profit on the prior year's figures, when the company experienced its "best ever year" with big successes from the hardback edition of The Essex Serpent, which was Waterstones' Book of the Year, and the paperback of Mary Beard's SPQR.

Although the paperback edition of The Essex Serpent has performed "extremely well" in the latest financial year, giving a "significant boost" to the company's numbers, the lower r.r.p. meant the company was unable to replicate the value brought in by the hardback, Profile said. The novel has sold 339,527 copies in total, with 192,413 in paperback, according to Nielsen BookScan.

Other titles that performed well for the publisher during the last financial year were Ruby Tandoh’s polemic Eat Up!, Mary Beard’s Women and Power and Shaun Bythell’s Diary of a Bookseller.

This year, the company looks forward to the release of Perry’s latest novel, Melmoth, in October. Profile imprint Serpent’s Tail has also just published (August) Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black which has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018.

The publisher is gearing up for a "strong" autumn with new books coming from Francis Fukuyama and Kwame Anthony Appiah, as well as the release of The Laws of Human Nature, the new volume from Robert Greene.

While the company has said it has not been immune to the general decline in e-book sales, it plans to make the most of the growth market in audiobooks with its new audiobook publishing programme partnership with Little, Brown.

Managing director Andrew Franklin said: "It always comes down to the books doesn’t it?  And we are very lucky indeed with our authors. We are also hugely grateful for the support from booksellers – without which we would be nowhere. I hope our results, which are only one way of looking at our publishing – prove that the independent publishing sector is thriving."