17 May 2010
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc is issuing its Interim Management Statement in respect of the period from 1st January 2010 to date.
Trading in the UK has been excellent in the first quarter of 2010. The Specialist Division had a robust period, with both academic and professional lists performing ahead of internal budgets. New partnerships were started with the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Royal Academy for Dramatic Art (RADA). The fashion and design list published the first retrospective of the late Alexander McQueen. Other bestsellers so far include the 2010 edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, published in April. This edition covers the Ashes win of 2009 and generated wide press coverage, with sales ahead of last year.
Bloomsbury Information is responsible for delivering Bloomsbury's management services to Qatar Foundation to establish Qatar's first international book publishing company, Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing. The company published its first books in Arabic and English last month. The launch was marked by a reception given by Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle on 6th April which was attended by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation. Bloomsbury's second management services contract with Qatar Foundation signed in December 2009 to publish science and research journals is now underway and the venture is making excellent progress, with a Managing Director, Arend Kuster, appointed in April.
The Trade Division had a good performance in the first quarter with current and backlist titles in high demand. Eat, Pray, Love, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns continue as top selling titles. In addition, Green Zone, Just Kids and Committed all published in 2010 have sold well. Operation Mincemeat was the number one bestseller for four weeks in January and February.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman has been shortlisted for both a Carnegie Medal and [the] Kate Greenaway Medal, the first time in 30 years that the same book has been shortlisted for both awards.
Bloomsbury's Public Library Online continues to grow now reaching over 5 million people in the UK through 10 UK library authorities with titles from 5 publishers. In addition to selling the subscription service into UK public libraries, Bloomsbury will expand the offer internationally from June 2010 and will continue to welcome new publishers to the Public Library Online.
Bloomsbury USA's first quarter performance was solid with contributions from books and sub licence sales. The Children's division has had three New York Times bestsellers this year. Chelsea Handler's My Horizontal Life has gone to Number 2 on the New York Times paperback bestseller list and Anchee Min's Pearl of China looks set to become one of our bestselling titles this year.
The academic business in the US is gathering momentum with the launch of Methuen Drama under the Bloomsbury Academic and Professional imprint.
A major rights contract licensing digital rights to lexical content was done with a US based financial internet company in January.
The operating margin in the first quarter of 2010 has shown a significant improvement on the same quarter in 2009, as a result of the reduction in operating costs and in spite of a difficult sales period in Germany. We are pleased to announce that Philip Roeder will become Managing Director of Berlin Verlag on 1st July. He has a strong track record in German publishing having worked in senior management positions at Suhrkamp, Hoerverlag and most recently Klopotek. He brings experience in finance, sales and marketing, and a deep understanding of technology as it is applied to digital publishing.
In an exciting development, we have decided to launch Bloomsbury Australia in January 2011. Bloomsbury has had a long standing relationship with its distributor, Allen & Unwin. From January, Bloomsbury will publish its list direct to the Australian market. Allen & Unwin will provide sales and distribution services to the new company. The new arrangement is expected to be earnings enhancing for Bloomsbury in 2011. The new business will be based in Sydney. Its Managing Director will be Kathleen Farrar, currently Marketing Director of Bloomsbury UK. She is herself Australian, with previous experience of Australian publishing.
Outlook and Financial Position
Overall, business is holding up well for the Group, The outcome for the year is still dependent on the level of consumer and business to business demand between now and the end of the financial year. We continue to focus on managing our cost base and are continuing to invest carefully in our future publishing programme.
The Group's cash position as at 30 April 2010 was £37.0m.
For further information, please contact:
|Nigel Newton, Chief Executive, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
|020 7494 6015
|Daniel de Belder / Rosanne Perry, PelhamBell Pottinger
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