Total revenues at Bloomsbury were up 19% year-on-year for the three months ending 31st May 2017. Meanwhile, the board said it expects profit for the financial year to be “in line with its expectations”.
The first quarter traditionally generates its smallest profit of the financial year, the company said.
Top selling titles in the period included A Court of Wings and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, the Harry Potter series, Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, Tom Kerridge's Dopamine Diet and The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray. Kate Pankhurst's Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World was the biggest selling children's general non-fiction title in the UK in the calendar year to 3rd June, according to Nielsen Bookscan.
In the non-consumer division, sales of digital resources were up by 16%, with output “continuing well” against the Bloomsbury 2020 plan, which seeks to reposition the publisher from a primarily consumer-focused one to a digital B2B company.
The digital resource Bloomsbury Popular Music, released earlier this year, is “proving popular” in academic library trials, the company said, adding that Bloomsbury Professional Online has had a “strong start” to the new financial year. The company’s professional resource International Tax was launched in May and the law resources Practice and Procedure; Intellectual Property and Info Technology and Clinical Negligence were also launched in the first quarter. This month, the Bloomsbury Design Library will be launched, following its successful showcase at the American Library Association conference in Chicago in June.
The 20th anniversary of Bloomsbury's first publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was celebrated on 26th June 2017. Predicting the success of the financial year, the company cited the forthcoming publication of two new Harry Potter books. To coincide with the British Library’s Harry Potter exhibition, Bloomsbury is publishing Harry Potter: A History of Magic - The Book of The Exhibition and Harry Potter - A Journey Through A History of Magic in October, which are tipped by booksellers to perform well in the Christmas market.
The previous financial year saw revenues for the company grow by 15% to £142.6m, in a “very strong” performance for the company, driven particularly by the strength of its children’s publishing which achieved double-digit revenue growth for the fourth year in a row.
The results for the six months ending 31st August 2017 will be announced on 23rd October 2017.