Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Text shares worth more than $1 million to Canongate

The sale of Canongate’s 70% shareholding in Text Publishing was worth £662,142, or approximately A$1.04 million, to the Scottish publisher, reports the Bookseller.

The value of the sale, which took place in October 2011, was included in Canongate’s 2011 financial results. As previously reported by Bookseller+Publisher, Canongate’s stake in Text was acquired by Lonely Planet founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler.

Canongate managing director Jamie Byng described 2011 as a ‘mixed and ultimately frustrating year’ and ‘a reminder of the highly unpredictable nature of the publishing business’. Canongate recorded an operating loss of £368,467 (approximately A$578,968)—compared to an operating profit of £1.1 million (A$1.7 million) in 2010—which it blamed on Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who backed out of the publication of an authorised memoir. Canongate, along with a number of other publishers including Text, published Julian Assange: The Unauthorised Autobiography in the second half of last year.

Canongate chairman Christopher Bland said the publisher’s operating loss ‘was largely attributable to Julian Assange’s failure to deliver the book he had contracted to produce’, and Canongate ‘was unable to obtain repayment from him of Canongate’s substantial advance, which had to be written off’.

Overall, Canongate’s turnover for 2011 was £10.8 million (A$16.9 million), which was down around 19% on its turnover in 2010 of £13.4 million (A$21 million). Pretax profits were £319,348 (A$501,788), down from £1.06 million (A$1.58 million) in 2010. The publisher said ebook sales grew by 200% during the year.



Category: Local news