News, Culture & Society

Bloomsbury Publishing achieves record interim results

Bloomsbury posts record interim sales as bookworms rush to buy cookery books and Sarah J. Maas novels

  • Bloomsbury’s total revenue jumped by 22% and profits increased by 18%
  • The Harry Potter series remained one of the best earners for the publisher 
  • Cookery books by Paul Hollywood and Tom Kerridge were also very popular

Popularity: Novels by Sarah J. Maas (pictured) were in great demand among customers

Bloomsbury Publishing has posted another record half-year performance as readers continued to snap up academic books and children’s titles.

The London-based group saw total revenue jump by 22 per cent to £122.9million and profits increase by 18 per cent to £10.1million in the six months ending August, when measured against the previous year.

As usual, the Harry Potter series remained one of the best earners for the publisher, helping boost sales in its children’s trade division by 30 per cent to £50.6million.

Purchase of these books shot up by over a third during the period, compared to just 5 per cent in the preceding 12 months, given the resurging popularity of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which was published 25 years ago.

Novels by American fantasy writer Sarah J. Maas were also in much greater demand among customers, growing by 45 per cent year-on-year.

Popular-selling titles included two in her Crescent City series, the newly-released House of Sky and Breath and House of Earth and Blood, both of which became New York Times fiction bestsellers.

Other recent Bloomsbury chartbusters have been cookery books from the likes of Paul Hollywood, Angela Hartnett and Tom Kerridge, or illustrated works by children’s author Martha Mumford.

‘Throughout this cost of living crisis, books remain an affordable treat,’ said Nigel Newton, Bloomsbury’s founder and chief executive. 

‘Reading offers a form of escapism and an ideal – and inexpensive – therapy for dealing with the stresses and strains of day-to-day life.’

Newton further highlighted the successful expansion of the Bloomsbury Digital Resources arm, whose profit more than doubled to £6.6million following the acquisitions of California-based ABC-CLIO and Red Globe Press (RGP).

Bloomsbury’s takeover of the former group formed part of a strategy to push up academic and digital publishing presence in the United States, the world’s largest academic market.

Its purchase helped grow sales in the company’s non-consumer division by almost a quarter to £46.6million and pre-tax profits by more than half to £7.1million.

Since the pandemic began two-and-a-half years ago, the business has seen sales climb as people sought to occupy the increasing amount of time they were spending indoors.

Trading has stayed strong since lockdown restrictions were loosened, with half-year revenue up 57 per cent on 2020 levels, while pre-tax earnings have skyrocketed by 327 per cent. 

The value of Bloomsbury Publishing shares has risen by around 94 per cent over the past two years. They were up 5.9 per cent at 432.5p during the late afternoon on Wednesday.

Analyst at Investec reiterated their buy recommendation for Bloomsbury stock, saying: ‘The virtuous flywheel in place at Bloomsbury continues to be very much in evidence.’

They added: ‘Previous investment in high-quality content fuels strong customer demand, generating cash-flows to fund further investment that underpins future growth, somewhat regardless of the underlying macro-economic environment.’ 



***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk