The chief executive of The Quarto Group, Marcus Leaver, said the company achieved a “solid” set of results in the first half of the year, with revenues rising 1% compared to the same period a year earlier.
For the six months ending 30th June 2015, revenues totalled $66.2m (£42.4m), 1% higher than $65.6m (£42m) in the first half of 2014. Adjusted group operating profit was down to $0.2m (£0.13m) from $0.6m (£0.38m), although the dip reflects “an expected shift in seasonality”, said the firm.
Core publishing revenues were up 6%, driven by the successful integration of acquisitions made in the second half of 2014 and the first half of 2015.
Leaver told The Bookseller he is “very pleased” with the results. “The business is on track to deliver profit growth and debt reduction for the third year running.”
He said the company achieved growth both organically and through business it has acquired (in February it bought Ivy Press for £1.3m), and will be looking to make further acquisitions in the future
The company’s UK business – Quarto Publishing Group UK – achieved revenues equal to the first quarter of 2014 ($7.6m) (£4.9m). Adjusted operating profits rose slightly from $0.2m (£0.13m) to $0.3m (£0.19m).
“We are transforming Quarto Publishing Group UK from a UK business to a global business that is based in the UK,” said Leaver. “Our children’s businesses Wide Eyed and Frances Lincoln are at the vanguard of that change."
Children’s publishing across the board was a highlight for the group, as sales of children’s products totalled $9.2m (£5.9m), 24% higher than the first half of 2014.
“Our growth in children’s publishing revenues continues, both organically by investment in our own originated product and by acquisition, selling those products in English language and foreign language with increasing competence and reach,” said the company.
Another area of growth was foreign rights, with revenues of $7.4m (£4.8m), a 35% increase from $5.5m (£3.5m) last year.
As previously announced, c.f.o. Mick Mousley is retiring at the end of August. His replacement, Michael Connole, will start in September.