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Regulatory announcements

23rd October 2018

Unaudited Interim Results for the six months ended 31 August 2018

Strong strategic progress and growth across the business

Bloomsbury today announces unaudited results for the six months ended 31 August 2018.

The Group delivered a strong first half performance and trading is on track to achieve 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 previous years.

 

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Financial Highlights

  • Total revenues grew by 4% to £75.3 million (2017: £72.1 million)
  • Profit before taxation and highlighted items* grew by 13% to £2.9 million (2017: £2.5 million)
  • Profit before taxation of £1.6 million (2017: £1.7 million)
  • Diluted earnings per share, excluding highlighted items*, grew by 12% to 3.14 pence (2017: 2.81p)
  • Robust cash conversion of 172% (2017: 197%), excluding the acquisition, with net cash of £16.9 million at 31 August 2018 (2017: £16.9 million)
  • Interim dividend up 5% to 1.21 pence per share (2017: 1.15 pence per share)
  • The acquisition of I. B. Tauris (“IBT”) is expected to deliver £3.5 million of revenue and £0.3 million of profit for the full year, as previously notified

Operational Highlights
Consumer division

  • Strong first half results, driven by an excellent Adult Trade performance, with revenue up 22%
  • In Children’s Trade, sales of the Harry Potter series in the first half grew by 5%, building on the momentum of last year’s Harry Potter twentieth anniversary. Sarah J. Maas titles continued their bestselling performance, with lower sales due two front list titles compared to four for the same period last year

Non Consumer division

  • Strong Academic & Professional performance, with revenue growth of 9%
  • Bloomsbury Digital Resources 2020 (“BDR 2020”) Academic & Professional revenues up 13% on a like for like basis, excluding the impact of IFRS15
  • Two new digital resources launched in the first half, Screen Studies and Bloomsbury Early Years, with a further three new launches for the second half, as planned
  • Acquisition of IBT completed for £5.8 million, strengthening our digital resources with its quality academic IP
  • New partnerships with Spotify, announced May 2018, and Yoox Net-A-Porter Group, announced July 2018, demonstrate our ability to develop innovative ways to market our digital offering
  • Announced today, our substantial new five-year digital subscription contract with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales (“ICAEW”) for Bloomsbury Professional Tax Online, recognition of our digital content with a new B2B partner

Bigger Bloomsbury
Bigger Bloomsbury represents our seven key growth initiatives, announced in May. In the first half, we delivered very good progress on all seven of these strategic initiatives, with notable highlights including growth in Adult and Academic & Professional profitability, growth in overseas sales and continued working capital improvement.

Commenting on the results, Nigel Newton, Chief Executive, said:
“I am very pleased with the performance of our business over the last six months. Adjusted profit before tax is up 13%, driven by revenue growth of 4% and improved profitability in both segments of our business. Each of our territories achieved growth, and the Adult trade division delivered an outstanding performance, increasing revenues by 22%, as part of the turnaround we have been working towards in that division.

These strong results, following our excellent results for the interim and full year last year, demonstrates the underlying strength, resilience and further potential of our strategy.

In Consumer, we saw revenue growth of 5%, driven by success in the Adult division’s great frontlist and backlist titles. New strong titles for the second half include Fresh Start by Tom Kerridge, Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas, the illustrated version of The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K Rowling and two new books from Peter Frankopan, The Illustrated Silk Roads and The New Silk Roads.

In Non Consumer, our Academic & Professional division continues to benefit from the Bloomsbury Digital Resources 2020 strategic growth initiative as we accelerate digital revenues and become a leading publisher in the B2B academic and professional market. Announced today, our new five-year subscription deal with the ICAEW, the very prestigious worldwide accountancy body, demonstrates strong ongoing demand for our online tax services.

We have made very good progress in all seven of our Bigger Bloomsbury initiatives focusing on our key growth drivers with targeted strategies across the Group to help grow our revenues and improve our margins over the next five years.

The Group is trading in line with the Board’s expectations for the full year.”

Notes
* Highlighted items comprise amortisation of acquired intangible and major one-off initiatives including professional and restructuring costs relating to the acquisition of IBT.

 

 

For further information, please contact:

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

 

Notes to Editors

About Bloomsbury: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc is a medium-sized independent publisher of general and academic books quoted on the London Stock Exchange.

 

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