Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Waterstones’ annual profits rise by 80%

UK bookselling chain Waterstones has reported an 80 percent jump in annual profits, reports the Guardian.

Waterstones reported that pre-tax profits increased from £9.9m (A$17.1m) to £18m (A$31.25m) in the year to 29 April 2017. The year’s sales were boosted by successful children’s books, such as J K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and titles by David Walliams. Non-book items, such as greeting cards, stationery and educational toys, also helped Waterstones change its fortunes, with non-book products now accounting for 10 percent of turnover. The chain also pointed to a shift away from selling low-margin academic course books.

The positive report comes six years after the rise of ebooks threatened the chain’s existence. 2016 was the first year Waterstones had made a profit since the 2008 financial crisis.

Waterstones managing director James Daunt said, ‘When I took over Waterstones was bust, it was losing horrendous amounts of money and the Kindle was eating away at sales. It did look very bleak. Now it doesn’t, it’s nice and sensibly run, with every prospect of doing better still’.


Category: International news