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‘Better standards of bookselling’ helps Waterstones post first profit in five years

UK bookselling chain Waterstones has posted its first profit in five years, reports the Bookseller.

Reporting for 270 stores, Waterstones posted a profit of £17.6m (A$29.37m) in the year to 30 April 2016, up from a £4.7m (A$7.84m) loss in the previous year, with sales growing four percent to £409.1m (A$682.86m).

This is the first time the chain is in the black under the ownership of Russian businessman Alexander Mamut and direction of MD James Daunt.

Daunt told the Bookseller that the chain benefitted from slowing ebook sales and ‘better standards of bookselling’.

‘Everything relies on bookselling and offering a better service around bookselling,’ said Daunt. ‘People come into our shops for the knowledge and the service, the success of The Essex Serpent (Waterstones’ 2016 Book of the Year by Sarah Perry, Serpent’s Tail) shows you that. Our support meant a book which would otherwise have achieved modest sales became a bestseller in the most competitive month of December. It is not about posters on the underground, but individual recommendations.’

Mamut bought the chain from HMV Group for £53m (A$88.45m) in 2011.


Category: International news