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Regulatory announcements

23rd October 2014

Unaudited Interim Results for the six months ended 31 August 2014

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc today announces results for the six months ended 31 August 2014.

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Financial highlights

  • Turnover £46.6 million£(2013: £49.2 million), following the exceptional 2013 comparator year with its new hardcover release of Khaled Hosseini’s huge bestseller And The Mountains Echoed
  • Adjusted profit before taxation £1.7 million (2013: £2.3 million)
  • Profit before taxation  £0.5 million (2013: £1.1 million)
  • Interim dividend pence per share 1.02 pence (2013: 0.98 pence)
  • Adjusted Diluted earnings per share 1.97 pence (2013: 2.22 pence)
  • Diluted earnings per share 0.56 pence (2013: 1.17 pence)

Operating highlights

Traditionally, sales of trade titles peak for Christmas and sales of academic titles peak in the Autumn at the beginning of the academic year.  We expect our sales to therefore be significantly second half weighted.

  • Children’s & Educational
    • Revenue for the period increased by 8% to £11.2 million (2013: £10.4 million)
    • Star performers were  Marmaduke the Different Dragon by Rachel Valentine and Ed Eaves and Paper Towns by John Green
  • Harry Potter phenomenon grows  2014 - 2020
    • Trilogy of films based on Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them from Warner Bros, 2016, 2018 and 2020
    • More rich content from J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore website
    • Stage play of Harry Potter to be produced by Sonia Friedman
    • Bloomsbury edition of Harry Potter just released with stunning new jackets
    • Harry Potter Book Night on 5th February 2015
    • Fully illustrated edition of Harry Potter released from Autumn 2015
  • Adult division
    • Key titles this year included paperback release And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes, Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
    • Winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, winner of the inaugural Folio Prize, Shortlisted for Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, finalist National Book Award
    • Three high profile TV series linked to our books - Grantchester; Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell; and Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes.
  • Academic & Professional
    • Division generated 30% of Group revenue this period (2013: 28%)
    • Total revenues were up by 1% to £14.0 million (2013: £13.9m)
    • Digital revenues were up by 65% to £2.0 million representing 15% of total revenues in the division (2013: 9%)
    • Results significantly second half weighted, as in the past
    • Hart trading ahead of expectations
    • Successfully launched a new digital platform, Bloomsbury Collections
  • Strong list for the second half
    • Paul Hollywood’s British Baking
    • Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes
    • River Cottage Light & Easy by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Commenting on the results, Nigel Newton, Chief Executive, said:

“We have continued to make strong progress in developing Bloomsbury as a wholly integrated trade and academic publisher. In the period revenues were up in all our divisions except Adult, as expected, following the exceptional success of certain books last year. Particularly pleasing was the performance of our Children’s & Educational division which has benefitted from the success of investment in the area over the last three years, including the successful launch of new imprint Bloomsbury Activity Books and the Bloomsbury Picture Books list.

Not since the launch of the final Harry Potter book in 2007 has there been such a range of activities in support of the Harry Potter phenomenon. The year ahead will see a huge surge in public interest in Harry Potter with our launch of new children’s editions in this period, Warner Bros announcement of a trilogy of films of Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, which is published by Bloomsbury, the creation of a stage play of Harry Potter for London’s West End, significant new material on J.K. Rowling’s highly successful Pottermore website and Harry Potter Book Night in February 2015, in which Bloomsbury Publishing will play a key role. In addition, Bloomsbury has commissioned artist Jim Kay to work on a new edition of Harry Potter with magnificent illustrations on every page which will be launched in Autumn 2015 and has the potential to create as much interest in the Harry Potter books as Tenniel’s illustrations of Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland did.

We have a strong publishing list for the second half including Paul Hollywood’s British Baking, Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes and River Cottage Light & Easy by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.  We expect results to continue to be significantly second-half weighted, as in the past. October is the peak for academic book sales and Christmas is the peak season for the sale of general books.”

For further information, please contact:

Daniel de Belder/Guy Scarborough, Pelham Bell Pottinger +44 (0) 20 3772 2500
Nigel Newton, Chief Executive, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc +44 (0) 20 7631 5630

 

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