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Bloomsbury Publishing delighted with digital growth in tough times for booksellers

Snapshot

  • Book publisher
  • Titles include Harry Potter series
  • Operates consumer and non-consumer divisions
books

Quick facts: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Price: 195 GBX

LSE:BMY
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £154.24 m
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What the company does

Most people who know of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (LON:BMY), probably know it as the Harry Potter publisher.

It doesn’t shy from the soar-away success of JK Rowling’s boy wizard but to see Bloomsbury as a one franchise wonder is to miss the point.

Other major authors include Sarah J Maas, Lisa Taddeo and Lara Maiklem

To see it purely as a fiction publisher is also an error.

Top chef Tom Kerridge has been a huge seller for Bloomsbury in recent years, for instance.

It has two arms:

  • Its consumer division consists of Adult and Children's trade publishing
  • The non-consumer operation is made up of Academic & Professional, Special interest and content services

The finances

Print book orders accounted for almost four-fifths of Bloomsbury’s revenues in the year to February and these have been severely disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, even though demand has increased for digital, audio and e-books.  

The issues were affecting all its markets though warehouses remain open and continue supply to customers.

The final dividend of 6.89p per share is also to be paid in shares rather than cash if shareholders approve, something Bloomsbury indicated in April.

Up until February, it had been a year of further growth for the publisher.

Full-year revenues rose slightly to £163mln while profits rose 10% to £13.2mln.

What the director says: Nigel Newton, chief executive 

“Our Non-Consumer division delivered an excellent result with profit before tax and highlighted items up by 85% to £6.7 million, including outstanding revenue growth of 32% from Bloomsbury Digital Resources, which moved into profit this year,”

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