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Bloomsbury reports best financial performance since founding in 1980s

Bloomsbury Publishing has reported a 13% surge in total revenues to £161.5 million (A$284.9m) in 2017, its best performance since it was founded in 1986, reports the Guardian.

The publisher’s global financial results for the year to the end of February show that both consumer and non-consumer divisions grew. Group profit before tax and highlighted items increased 10% to £13.2 million (A$23.3m), boosted by strong digital growth, which increased 20% year on year, and brought in £4.7 million (A$8.3m) in revenue.

Bloomsbury reported ‘good revenue growth’ in all international territories, including Australia where revenue rose 29%. Revenue in the US rose 23%, India, 43% and the UK, 28%.

Cookbooks and children’s titles, in particular, drove the publisher’s revenue to its highest level to date, including TV chef Tom Kerridge’s Lose Weight for Good (Absolute Press)which spent four weeks as the overall number one on UK Nielsen Bookscan, and set a UK record for selling the most copies in a week in January—and J K Rowling’s Harry Potter series, which marked its 20th anniversary last year. Sales of the Harry Potter series grew by almost one-third (31%) year on year, helped by special editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, an illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Excluding Harry Potter titles, Bloomsbury’s children’s sales grew 14%, with particularly strong sales of Sarah J Maas titles including A Court of Wings and Ruin.

Nigel Newton, chief executive and co-founder of Bloomsbury, also noted that the share price rise of Bloomsbury on the stock market (almost 30% over the last year) was ‘the result of a strategy to broaden the scope of the publisher’s business and build digital revenues as well as academic and professional publishing operations’. Newton noted that digital revenue sales were rising as a result of ‘digital resource sales’, for example, selling the Churchill archive online to academic libraries.

‘We have been seeking for ten years now to create a balanced portfolio between general publishing and academic and professional publishing,’ he said. ‘What you see coming through in the results is the fruits of that strategy.’



Category: International news