Our strategy

Interview with Chief Executive Nigel Newton

The Group's Mission is to grow a high quality global publishing business delivering high value to its contributors, readers and shareholders.

We achieve this Mission through our strategy which is to:

  • Publish authors and works of excellence and originality.
  • Deliver professional services to those seeking publication.
  • Combine tradition and technology to achieve excellence.
  • Establish solid profit streams.

Our overall growth strategy and long-term focus remains unchanged; to invest in high value intellectual property, to publish works of excellence and originality, to build our diversified portfolio of content and services across our Consumer and Non-Consumer Divisions, and to diversify into digital channels to build quality revenues and increase earnings.

Our strategic priorities

Non-Consumer publishing

Grow Bloomsbury’s portfolio in Non‑Consumer publishing.

Non-Consumer publishing is characterised by higher, more predictable margins, is less reliant on retailers and presents greater digital and global opportunities. Non-Consumer revenues are derived from our Academic & Professional, Educational and Special Interest publishing.

2019/2020 progress:

−− Delivered 85% growth in profit before tax and highlighted items and revenue growth of 4%;

−− Acquisition of drama publisher Oberon Books Limited, strengthening our presence as the leading publisher in drama and the performing arts.

Achieve Bloomsbury Digital Resources revenue of £15 million and profit of £5 million for 2021/2022.

Our Bloomsbury Digital Resources digital growth strategy, combining digital products of excellence with the strength and range of our partnerships enables us to deliver growth from the high-quality platforms and infrastructure we have built and are continuing to build.

2019/2020 progress:

−− Delivered £8.3 million revenue, up 32%;

−− Delivered five new products and five new modules; and

−− Established new partnerships with the National Theatre, Taylor & Francis, Human Kinetics and the Donmar Warehouse.

Consumer publishing

Discover, nurture and retain high-quality authors and illustrators, while looking at new ways to leverage existing title rights.

2019/2020 progress:

−− Sunday Times bestsellers included Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, The Anarchy by William Dalrymple, City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, Three Women by Lisa Taddeo and The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. New York Times bestsellers included Elderhood by Louise Aronson and No Visible Bruises by Rachel Louise Snyder.

Grow our key authors through effective publishing across all formats alongside strategic sales and marketing.

2019/2020 progress:

−− Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas was Number One on the New York Times bestseller list; and

−− Specialist Audio division established.

As the originating publisher of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, ensure that new children discover and read it for pleasure every year.

2019/2020 progress:

−− Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was the tenth bestselling Children’s title on Nielsen Bookscan in the UK, 22 years after first publication.

International expansion

Expand international revenues and reduce reliance on the UK market.

Continuing our international growth in order to reduce reliance on the UK market as well as take advantage of the biggest academic market in the USA and significant growth potential in India and China is a key part of
our strategy.

2019/2020 progress:

−− Delivered overseas revenues of 63% of Group revenue;

−− Achieved Bloomsbury Digital Resources international sales growth of 31% in international markets; and

−− Entry into the domestic Chinese market with Bloomsbury China: a new joint venture with China Youth Publishing Group and Roaring Lion Media.

Employee experience and engagement

Be an attractive employer for all individuals seeking a career in publishing regardless of background or identity, adding cultural value to our business operations and performance.

Focus on targeted initiatives to create an environment that nurtures talent, stimulates creativity and collaboration, is respectful of difference and supports wellbeing.

Our colleagues are amongst our most important assets, and our success is driven by their expertise, passion and commitment. We understand the importance of attracting, supporting and engaging colleagues wherever they work.

2019/2020 progress:

Continuing focus on employee engagement and development initiatives, including:

−− Ongoing Employee Voice Meetings, listening to each of our employees’ views;

−− Continued provision of Management Development Programme for line managers;

−− Introduction of mentoring scheme for early and mid-career employees;

−− Formation of Diversity and Inclusion Networks that complement and inform the activities of our Diversity and Inclusion Working Group; and

−− Introduction of Core Hours to support flexible working.

Sustainability

Maximise our use of sustainable resources while seeking to reduce carbon emissions.

We recognise our responsibilities to conserve resources and we are committed to monitoring and improving the environmental impact of our operations.

2019/2020 progress:

−− Decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from location based and vehicle fuel use*;

−− Decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from electricity use*;

−− Decrease in water consumption*;

−− Increased use of print-ondemand technology: over 20,000 titles; and

−− Implementation of Sustainability Working Group to promote positive environmental actions within the Group.

 

*An analysis of our environmental performance during the year is set out on in the Strategic Report on pages 55 to 57 of the Annual Report.

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July

Annual General Meeting

02 Jun 2021

Preliminary announcement for the year ended 28 February 2021

29 Jan 2021

Trading Update

27 Oct 2020

Interim Results