Publisher Quarto Group is aiming for profits of more than $12m this year, chief financial officer (c.f.o.) Mick Mousley said at an analysts’ dinner in London yesterday (15th October).
“Normalised profit was $11.4m (£7.1m) last year but market expectations are $12.2m (£7.6m) this year,” he told The Bookseller.
The company is back on track after a fall in the first half of 2014, when US wholesaler HDA stopped trading, he said. Quarto is also subject to cyclical trading and the first half of the year typically accounts for around 38/39% of revenues, he added.
Chief executive Marcus Leaver said children’s publishing is an increasingly important part of the business, now accounting for 16.5% of its three publishing divisions – Quarto International Co-Editions Group, Quarto Publishing UK and Quarto Publishing USA.
“Children’s is growing faster than the overall publishing business and next year that growth will be even higher,” he said.
The company recently acquired Small World Creations, a Bath-based publisher of novelty children's books for the 0-5 year age group, and published the first title under Wide Eyed Editions, its children’s non-fiction imprint. That title, Atlas of Adventures by Lucy Letherland, was released on the 2nd October and has already generated sales of £200,000 across all territories, he said.
Rachel Williams, publisher of Wide Eyed Editions and the Frances Lincoln imprint, is aiming to publish 14 titles per year under the Wide Eyed Editions imprint, targeting non-traditional book retailers, for example museums and fashion outlets, aswell as bookshops.
Williams also revealed several of the titles that will be published under the Frances Lincoln imprint next year, including Counting Lions, an illustrated look at wild animals, with a forward by Virginia McKenna, and a reissue of Quentin Blake’s Tell Me A Picture, which is about the illustrator’s 26 favourite paintings.
“Frances Lincoln has been the publisher of picture books and narrative non-fiction and there are so many gems on the backlist,” she said. “We’re trying to do justice to that heritage.”