Profit edges up at Bloomsbury

Profit edges up at Bloomsbury

Bloomsbury grew both revenue and profit in the 12 months to end February, in what chief executive Nigel Newton called "a good year" for the company.

However the adult trade division saw a 10% decline in revenue over the period.

Revenues at the publisher stood at £111.1m for the year ended 28th February 2015, up 1.5% from £109.5m in 2014. Profit before taxation was up 1% to £9.6m, from £9.5m in the same period last year.

Key growth came Bloomsbury's academic and children's publishing. In the academic and professional division, revenues were up 12% from £32.1m in 2014 to £36m in 2015. Digital title sales in the sector stood at £4.2m, a growth of 35%. Law publisher Hart, acquired in September 2013, contributed £3.7m of revenue and £1.2m of profit.

Children's and education revenue stood at £26.6m, up nearly 13% from £23.6m in 2014, while profit before highlighted items was £2.9m, up from £1.9m. The sales of Harry Potter titles was given a 29% boost due to the rerelease of the J K Rowling's series with new covers by illustrator Jonny Duddle.

Meanwhile, the adult division had revenues of £44.7m, down 10% from £49.9m in 2014, which Bloomsbury said reflected the strong performance of Khaled Hoesseini's And the Mountains Echoed in the previous year. Earlier this month, it was announced that senior commissioning editor Bill Swainson would be leaving the company as part of a cost-cutting restructure, with editor-in-chief Alexandra Pringle citing "the changing publishing environment".

Newton said the results were consistent with the aims of the business: "Our focus remains on growing academic, professional, special interest and educational revenues to reduce the overall exposure of the business to the traditional book market."

He said: "This has been a good year for Bloomsbury. It was characterised by a consistent development of the strategic aims of the business - in short, digital investment, a greater proportion of business generated from academic and professional publishing, a greater proportion of sales from non-traditional book retailers and a focus on marketing to discrete communities of interest."