'Transitioning' Folio scrapes into profit

'Transitioning' Folio scrapes into profit

Sales at The Folio Society fell by almost a quarter in the year to the end of August 2014, compared to the year before, results for the 12-month period show. However the company made a small profit, after losing nearly £3m the previous year.

In accounts filed on Companies House this week, The Folio Society, which specialises in the high quality production of physical books, revealed its turnover was £14.8m in the year to 31st August 2014, down from £19.3m for the same period the year before - a decrease of 23.5%.

However the company generated a profit before tax of £15,053, up considerably from its loss of £2.8m before tax in 2013. 

In 2014 the company completed the transition from its traditional direct marketing business model to concentrate more on direct sales through its website and new retail partnerships with Waterstones, Hatchards, Harrods and Selfridges. The Folio Society also shut its US office, and made 13 redundancies.

In the board of directors’ report to Companies House, The Folio Society said that “as part of this change the company budgeted for a significant reduction in turnover, to trade profitably and generate cash on a modest scale”.

“The company has budgeted for a slightly lower turnover in 2015 and expects to be profitable and generate cash,” the report from the board of directors continues.

Results show that in the year to 31st August 2014 there were 72 staff at The Folio Society, down from 90 in the same period the year before. This is made up of 15 editorial and production staff, 43 in sales and distribution, and 14 in administration.

Restructuring costs incurred in the year included £105,394 in compensation for the loss of office of one director.

Toby Hartwell, former m.d. of The Folio Society, left the company on 31st August last year, with the business not replacing him and instead implementing a new board structure.

The company's owner and chairman Lord Gavron died earlier this month at the age of 84.

The chairman role will now be performed by the Folio Holdings Board.

The Folio Society is the primary sponsor for The Folio Prize, a £40,000 literary prize now in its second year.