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Regulatory announcements

22nd May 2018

Audited Preliminary Results for the year ended 28 February 2018

Bloomsbury today announces audited results for the year ended 28 February 2018.

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Financial Highlights

  • Total revenues grew by 13% to £161.5 million (2016/17: £142.6 million). Revenues from overseas customers grew by 16% to £101.2 million, and are now 63% of total revenues
  • Profit before taxation and highlighted items* grew by 10% to £13.2 million (2016/17: £12.0 million), above market expectations
  • Proposed final dividend of 6.36p per share, making a total dividend of 7.51p per share for the year, up 12% (2016/17: 6.7p per share)
  • Diluted earnings per share, excluding highlighted items*, grew by 10% to 13.92p (2016/17: 12.63p)
  • Strong cash conversion of 161% (2017: 180%), with net cash of £25.4m at 28 February 2018 (2017: £15.5m)
  • Strong autumn book list and acquisition of I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd ("IBT") will mean performance for 2018/19 will be well ahead of our previous expectations

Operational Highlights

Consumer division

  • The Consumer division had an exceptional year, due primarily to a strong Children's and Cookery performance. Revenue increased 20% to £102.2m (2016/17: £85.4m) and operating profit before highlighted items increased by 21% to £11.4m (2016/17: £9.4m**)
  • Strong list for the year ahead includes A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas, a major new cookery title from Tom Kerridge, the illustrated version of The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling and the film tie-in edition of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  • Children's
    • Revenue for the year increased by 24% to £69.2m (2016/17: £55.9m)
    • Sales of the Harry Potter series in the year grew by 31%, including Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Edition
    • Strong sales of Sarah J. Maas titles included A Court of Wings and Ruin
  • Adult
    • Revenue increased by 12% year on year to £33.1m (2016/17: £29.5m)
    • Highlights included Tom Kerridge's Lose Weight for Good

Non-Consumer division

  • The Non-Consumer division saw revenues grow by 4% to £59.3m (2016/17: £57.2m). Operating profit before highlighted items was £1.7m (2016/17: £2.6m**) including £1.2m net more investment in Bloomsbury 2020, a foreign exchange charge that was £0.7 million higher year on year and a strong rights performance in the prior year
  • The Bloomsbury 2020 strategy to leverage our academic and professional assets into the academic library market, is delivering well with digital resource revenues up 20% to £4.7 million. Five major new digital resources were launched in the year, ahead of plan. On track to deliver targeted £5 million of profit and £15 million revenue in 2021/22
  • Acquisition of IB Tauris in April 2018 for £5.8 million. Its quality academic IP will enhance our digital resources

Bigger Bloomsbury

As Bloomsbury continues to focus on quality revenues and building upon the strong momentum achieved last year, we have a number of key growth initiatives that, together with our acquisition of IBT, the Board expects will lead to our performance for 2019/20 onwards being well ahead of our previous expectations. The main initiatives are:

  1. Growing the profits of the Adult division;
  2. Growing the profits of the Academic & Professional division;
  3. Reducing our finished goods stock further by continuing to roll out globally efficiencies already made in the UK business;
  4. Increasing the focus on Bloomsbury's nine biggest assets, starting with Harry Potter, Sarah J. Mass, Tom Kerridge and the lead title in each division from both the US and UK editorial lists to boost front list and back list performance;
  5. Maximising the success of Bloomsbury Digital Resources;
  6. Accelerating the growth of Bloomsbury's sales in the USA, Australia and India; and
  7. Developing Bloomsbury China: China Global Publishing - publishing books, in English, as a publishing partner in the West for major Chinese publishers, following signing of Memorandum of Understanding in May 2018.

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

"I am delighted with the performance of our business over the last twelve months. It has been a great year that has put Bloomsbury in a very strong and exciting position. We have seen significant progress in both segments of our business.

In Consumer, we saw revenue growth of 20%, increasing across all territories, driven by Children's and Cookery titles. Tom Kerridge's Lose Weight for Good was a notable standout, selling the most copies in a week in January since records began. In the milestone twentieth anniversary year for Harry Potter we continued to demonstrate our ability to find inventive and engaging ways to bring the story to life for readers, publishing a House edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and the illustrated Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. In Non-Consumer, our Academic & Professional division continues to benefit from the Bloomsbury 2020 strategic growth initiative as we look to accelerate digital revenues significantly and become a leading publisher in the B2B academic and professional market.

Bigger Bloomsbury marks the next exciting step in our growth, focussing on our key growth drivers with targeted strategies across the business to help grow our revenues and improve our margins over the next five years."

 

Notes
* Highlighted items comprise amortisation of acquired intangible assets and in the prior year other one-off significant non-cash charges and major one-off initiatives including legal and other professional costs relating to acquisitions and restructuring costs.
** Prior year divisional profits are amended to reflect a change in the allocation of central costs in order to provide a better understanding of underlying results. Group results are unaffected.

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.

 

For further information, please contact:

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc +44 (0) 20 7631 5630
Nigel Newton, Chief Executive
Wendy Pallot, Group Finance Director
 
FTI Consulting +44 (0) 203 727 1000
Charles Palmer / Dwight Burden / Emma Hall / Leah Dudley SCBloomsbury@fticonsulting.com

 

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