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Press releases

24th October 2017

Unaudited Interim Results for the six months ended 31 August 2017

The Group saw strong growth in the first half and is trading in line with the Board's expectations for the full year. Traditionally, sales of trade titles peak for Christmas and sales of academic titles at the beginning of the academic year in the autumn. We therefore expect our sales to be second-half weighted, as in past years.

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Group Financial Highlights

  • Total revenues up 15% to £72.1 million (2016: £62.7 million)
  • Digital revenues up 15% to £8.9 million (2016: £7.7 million)
  • Print revenues up 16% to £60.1 million (2016: £51.7 million)
  • Adjusted* profit before tax up 74% to £2.5 million (2016: £1.5 million)
  • Profit before tax £1.7 million (2016: £0.1 million)
  • Net cash up 85% to £16.9 million (2016: £9.1 million)
  • Interim dividend up 5% to 1.15 pence per share (2016: 1.10 pence per share)
  • Adjusted* diluted earnings per share up 70% to 2.81 pence (2016: 1.65 pence)
  • Diluted earnings per share 1.87 pence (2016: 0.15 pence)

Consumer division

  • Revenues increased 20% to £44.7 million (2016: £37.3 million), driven by Children's Trade where revenues increased 33% to £31.7 million
  • J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter titles continue to sell strongly, including the Harry Potter Box Setand the new House Editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, which celebrate the 20th anniversary of the title first being published
  • Sarah J. Maas title revenues grew 47% including the publication of A Court of Wings and Ruin
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders won the Man Booker prize last Tuesday. Tom Kerridge's Dopamine Diet reached number one on the Sunday Times Original Non-Fiction list simultaneously with Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology being number one on the Sunday Times Original Fiction list. Kid Normal by Greg James and Chris Smith, published in the UK in July, went to number one in the total consumer market chart for children's books in the UK (source: Nielsen BookScan)

Non-Consumer division

  • Revenues up 8% to £27.4 million (2016: £25.4 million)
  • Academic & Professional digital resources revenues grew 10% to £2.2 million (2016: £2 million) including 17% growth in Bloomsbury Professional Online
  • Bloomsbury 2020 digital resources growth strategy on track with launch of Bloomsbury Design Library and Bloomsbury Cultural History
  • Bestselling titles from the Non-Consumer division include Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2017 and Douglas Murray's The Strange Death of Europe
  • Creation of new imprint, Bloomsbury China, to publish, in English, works about China and for China, by Chinese, Western and other writers

Note: *Adjusted results are calculated before deducting highlighted items. Highlighted items comprise amortisation of acquired intangible assets and, in the prior year, costs relating to acquisitions and major restructuring.

Commenting on the results, Nigel Newton, Chief Executive of Bloomsbury Publishing, said:

‘It has been a very strong six months for Bloomsbury. Revenues are up 15%, with good growth in each of our territories. The Children's Trade division delivered another outstanding performance, increasing revenues by 33%.

The Group is trading in line with the Board's expectations for the full year. We have a strong second half list including the Illustrated Edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Illustrated Edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and two major books to accompany the British Library's Harry Potter exhibition, which was launched last Thursday to huge public acclaim. Our cookery list for the second half includes A Baker's Life by Paul Hollywood, Lose Weight for Good by Tom Kerridge and River Cottage Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. October is the peak period for academic book sales and Christmas for the sales of consumer books. We therefore expect our results to continue to be second-half weighted, as in past years.

We have successfully launched two new major digital resources this period and are on track to launch a further two new resources this year, one more than originally planned in the Bloomsbury 2020 growth plan.'

 

For further information please contact:

Nigel Newton, Chief Executive, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc +44 (0) 20 7631 5630
Wendy Pallot, Group Finance Director, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc +44 (0) 20 7631 5630

 

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