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Regulatory announcements

19th May 2015

Unaudited Preliminary Results for the year ended 28 February 2015

Bloomsbury today announces unaudited results for the year ended 28 February 2015.

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Financial highlights

  • Revenues grew to £111.1 million (2014: £109.5 million) 
  • Profit before taxation and highlighted items** of £12.1 million (2014*: £12.0 million)
  • Profit before taxation £9.6 million (2014*: £9.5 million)
  • Final dividend of 5.08p per share (2014: 4.84p) making a total dividend of 6.10p per share for the year (2014: 5.82p per share)
  • Diluted earnings per share, excluding highlighted items, were 14.73p (2014*: 12.80p)
  • Diluted earnings per share were 11.90p (2014: 10.43p)

Operating highlights

  • Academic & Professional
    • Revenues for the year were up by 12% to £36.0 million (2014: £32.1 million)
    • Digital title sales grew by 35% year on year to £4.2 million, more than double overall industry growth
    • The division contributed to excellent Group rights and services sales compared to 2014, up to £14.1 million (2014: £8.5 million) more in line with previous years (2013: £11.5 million, 2012: £12.6 million)
    • Law publisher Hart, which was acquired in September 2013, contributed £3.7 million of revenue (2014: £1.8 million) and £1.2 million of operating profit (2014: £0.5 million) before central recharges and excluding highlighted items
    • Bloomsbury is established as the foremost global academic visual arts publisher with the launch of www.bloomsburyfashioncentral.com
  • Adult division
    • Revenue for the year was £44.7 million (2014: £49.9 million) reflecting the huge success of And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini in the prior year
    • Key titles in the year included Lucie Whitehouse’s Before We Met and Samantha Shannon’s The Mime Order
    • Acquisition of Osprey in December 2014 increased presence in the specialist niche areas
    • Cookery list continued to perform strongly with books by Tom Kerridge, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Heston Blumenthal, Raymond Blanc and Paul Hollywood among others
    • Launch of www.cooked.com, which complements successful cookery book publishing
    • Winner of numerous industry awards including the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the inaugural Folio Prize and the Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction
  • Children’s & Educational
    • Revenue for the year was £26.6 million (2014: £23.6 million)
    • Operating profit before highlighted items was £2.9 million (2014*: £1.9 million)
    • Sales of Harry Potter titles in the year grew by 29% due to the reissue of the Harry Potter novels by J. K. Rowling in August 2014 with new covers by Jonny Duddle
    • Picture books and Activity books sales grew by 15% year on year and now account for 13% of the division’s sales
    • Star performers were Paper Towns by John Green and The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
  • Bloomsbury Information
    • Operating profit before highlighted items was £1.1 million (2014*: £1.1 million)
    • Partnership with Lloyds Bank providing insight, business thought leadership and best practice to its SME business customers with more Bloomsbury content being provided in 2015
    • Management services agreement with Qatar Foundation was extended in 2014
    • IZA World of Labor launched in May 2014, has published 150 evidence-based articles on issues in labor economics, making it the ultimate resource for policy and decision makers in this field across the globe
  • Strong list for the year ahead
    • Sweet Caress by William Boyd
    • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
    • The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein
    • The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
    • Illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
    • New cookery titles from Tom Kerridge, Paul Hollywood, Frances Quinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Russell Norman amongst others
    • Books with TV tie-ins include Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke and the second Grantchester Mysteries novel, Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night by James Runcie
    • Paper Towns by John Green with film tie-in

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

"This has been a good year for Bloomsbury. It was characterised by a consistent development of the strategic aims of the business – in short, digital investment, a greater proportion of business generated from academic and professional publishing, a greater proportion of sales from non-traditional book retailers and a focus on marketing to discrete communities of interest.

Our focus remains on growing academic, professional, special interest and educational revenues to reduce the overall exposure of the business to the traditional book market. During the coming year we will also continue the building of our digital presence, launching the new online portals Bloomsbury Fashion Central and the Fashion Photography Archive.

We have started the new year well with some notable successes in our Adult and Children’s & Educational divisions, including this week’s New York Times Bestseller A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and the highly rated BBC1 tie-in to Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.”

For further information, please contact:

Daniel de Belder/Guy Scarborough, Bell Pottinger +44 (0) 20 3772 2500
Nigel Newton, Chief Executive, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc +44 (0) 20 7494 6015

Notes:

** Highlighted items comprise amortisation of acquired intangible assets, acquisition related legal and other professional fees and restructuring costs.

* Results for 2013/14 year have been adjusted for the change in policy, announced in July 2014, for the treatment of amortisation of internally generated intangible assets.

Forward-looking statements

Statements contained in this Annual Results Announcement are based on the knowledge and information available to the Company's directors at the date it was prepared and therefore the facts stated and views expressed may change after that date. By their nature, the statements concerning the risks and uncertainties facing the Company in this Annual Results Announcement involve uncertainty since future events and circumstances can cause results and developments to differ materially from those anticipated. To the extent that this Annual Results Announcement contains any statement dealing with any time after the date of its preparation such statement is merely predictive and speculative as it relates to events and circumstances which are yet to occur. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

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