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Regulatory announcements

19th May 2016

Unaudited Preliminary Results for the year ended 29 February 2016
Launch of Bloomsbury 2020

Bloomsbury today announces unaudited results for the year ended 29 February 2016.

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Financial highlights

  • Revenue grew by 11% to £123.7 million (2015: £111.1 million)
  • Profit before taxation and highlighted items increased by 8% to £13.0 million (2015: £12.1 million)
  • Both revenue and profit benefited from the successful integration of Osprey Publishing acquired in December 2014
  • Final dividend per share of 5.34 pence (2015: 5.08 pence) making a total dividend of 6.4 pence for the year (2015: 6.1 pence)
  • Diluted earnings per share, excluding highlighted items, were 15.24 pence (2015: 14.73 pence)

Strategic developments

  • Bloomsbury 2020 launched today, moving Bloomsbury further in to the area of B2B digital publishing; a significant growth plan for Bloomsbury Digital Resources Publishing, a new range of scholarly digital resources aimed at academic libraries worldwide whose collective budgets are approximately $5 billion
  • Announcement today of reorganisation of Bloomsbury from four to two divisions: Consumer and Non-Consumer, to reflect the increasing emphasis on our Non-Consumer businesses

Operating Highlights

  • Children's & Educational
    • Revenue for the year increased by 57% to £41.8m (2015: £26.6m)
    • Sales of Harry Potter in the year grew by 133%, including Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Illustrated Edition by J. K. Rowling and Jim Kay being published to great acclaim
    • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas has just hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Sales of Sarah J. Maas titles, which included A Court of Thorns and Roses, grew by 184%.
  • Adult division
    • Revenue increased by 3% year on year to £46.0 million (2015: £44.7 million)
    • Osprey Publishing, which was acquired in December 2014, generated revenue of £7.2 million (2015: £1.5 million)
    • Focus on special interest niches paying off, representing 14% of total Bloomsbury sales (2015: 10%)
  • Academic & Professional
    • Revenue for the year was £32.7 million (2015: £36.0 million), slightly lower as expected due to a strong rights and services comparator last year
    • Digital revenues grew by 24% year on year to £5.3 million, more than treble the industry growth rate (Source: Publishing Association: Digital Sales Monitor)
    • Digital now represents 16% of total revenues in the division (2015: 12%)
    • Acquisition of the definitive family law list for net consideration of £0.5m
  • Bloomsbury Information
    • Revenue for the year was £3.2 million (2015: £3.9 million)
    • Operating profit before highlighted items was up 9% to £1.2 million (2015: £1.1 million)
    • From 2016, Bloomsbury is providing publishing services to the Arcadian Library, one of the finest collections of books about relations between the West and the Arab and Islamic worlds
  • Strong list for the year ahead
    • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated Edition by J. K. Rowling and Jim Kay
    • Two front list Sarah J. Maas titles
    • New cookery titles from Tom Kerridge and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
    • New content from J. K. Rowling for the new edition of Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

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

"Bloomsbury has had a very good year with strong revenue and book sales growth, including a significant increase in digital sales. In particular, our Children's & Educational division delivered an exceptional performance, with its third year of double digit revenue growth.

Bloomsbury continues its strategy of growing academic, professional, special interest and educational revenues. There are significant market opportunities to accelerate the growth of our digital revenues and today we have set out the Bloomsbury 2020 strategy. This focuses on growing revenues from academic and professional digital resources for academic libraries worldwide, whose budget is estimated to be $5 billion. This will lead our repositioning in the market from a primarily consumer publisher to a digital B2B publisher, whilst continuing our long track record of huge bestsellers in the adult and children's markets which remain a very important part of  Bloomsbury's mission.

We have started the year in line with our expectations and look forward to publishing our strong list in the year ahead."

 

For further information, please contact:

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

 

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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