16 January 2014
Bloomsbury Publishing is issuing its Interim Management Statement in respect of the period from 1 September 2013 to date.
Group trading in the four months ended 31 December 2013 has been very good and in line with management's expectations.Turnover in the period was up 20% year on year due to strong title sales reflecting our excellent new book list this year. Our major best sellers include Tom Kerridge's Proper Pub Food, And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, The Harry Potter Box Set by JK Rowling, The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, River Cottage Veg Everyday! by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh and Fortunately, the Milk… by Neil Gaiman.
Title turnover was up 24%, with most of this growth generated from print sales. Digital turnover in the period was up by 15%, with strong e-book sales growth in the US. Rights & Services turnover was down 17%. In accordance with previous guidance and as in previous years, the Group has contracts under negotiation from which we expect to deliver Rights & Services turnover between now and the end of the financial year.
At 31 December 2013 the Group had £0.1 million of net cash, following the £6.2 million outflow for the acquisition of Hart Publishing,the academic law publisher acquired in September (31 December 2012: £7.7 million).
In the Academic & Professional division, the integration of Hart is progressing well, against a detailed integration schedule. Turnover at Hart has been in line with management's expectations during the period.
Good organic growth in the division has been driven by better than expected revenues from new digital services - sales in November and December include Drama Online to Oxford University and the Churchill Archive to Bibliothèque Nationale.
Bloomsbury Professional recently launched two new digital services in its rapidly-expanding portfolio of online legal services, including National Infrastructure Planning Service and Irish Law Online. These are performing to plan.
Bloomsbury Collections, the new digital e-book platform for Higher Education institutions around the world, is on schedule to launch in May 2014, with over 2,000 titles in 12 subject collections. The platform features content from Bloomsbury's latest research publications as well as our 100+ year legacy including The Arden Shakespeare, Berg, Bristol Classical Press, Continuum, and T&T Clark. We expect 4,000 titles to be delivered in digital formats by the platform by the end of 2014.
In the Adult division, the period has been marked in particular by the success of Tom Kerridge's Proper Pub Food. Four of the Group's top ten titles in the period were cookery titles from our Adult division. Bloomsbury's food and drink authors have enjoyed an unprecedented number of awards in recent months reflecting the quality of the cookery list. These include Atul's Curries of the World by Atul Kochhar winning the Gourmand Awards Best TV Chef Cookbook; Roast by Marcus Verberne winning the Gourmand Awards Best Chef Cookbook; Christie's Encyclopaedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine by Tom Stevenson and Essi Avellan winning the Gourmand Awards Wine Book of the Year; Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop winning the Kate Whiteman Award for a work on Food and Travel; River Cottage Veg Everyday! by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall winning the Grow Your Own Most Informative Cookery Book; Beyond Essence by David Everitt-Matthias winning the Gourmand Awards Best Food Photography; And Wine and Culture: Vineyard to Glass edited by Rachel E. Black and Robert C. Ulin winning the Gourmand Awards Best Drinks Book of the Year.
In September, Bloomsbury acquired the natural history list from New Holland Publishers. This established and wide-ranging list of over 200 titles will further cement Bloomsbury's position as a leading, global publisher in the natural history field.
Also in September, Bloomsbury announced a new imprint, Sigma. Targeting the popular science market, the imprint will feature narrative works on subjects as diverse as evolutionary biology, astronomy, robotics, palaeontology, bio-engineering, physics and climatology. A select list of up to 15 titles per year will be released globally, and marketed locally by the company's offices in London, New York, Sydney and New Delhi.
The Children's division announced in December that all seven of JK Rowling's Harry Potter books will be published for the first time in full-colour editions, illustrated by the award-winning artist Jim Kay. The first in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, will be published in September 2015, with each subsequent title being released annually.
Bloomsbury Spark, the e-first Young Adult list, was launched in December with the release of seven titles. The Children's division has also launched its third activity app, Bloomsbury Activity Farm. The first two apps, Bloomsbury Activity Pirate and Bloomsbury Activity Princess, were listed in Top Playful apps of 2013 by Apps Playground.
In the Information division, a preview of the IZA World of Labor website produced for IZA, the highly respected German research Institute for the Study of Labor, was held in November at the IMF in Washington, DC.
Award shortlists for the Information division in the period included Imperfect Perfectionpublished for the Qatar Museums Authority by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, which was shortlisted for the Book Production Award in October, and Light Footprint Management by Charles Edouard Bouée, which was shortlisted for the CMI Management Book of the Year Award.
We will begin to have visibility of post-Christmas returns and the important post-Christmas e-book sales over the next six weeks. The final results for the financial year will be dependent on these and the completion of contracts under negotiation, as in previous years.
Nigel Newton, Chief Executive of Bloomsbury, commented:
"Bloomsbury has delivered a very good performance during the period, underpinned by strong title sales. Our ability to identify growth areas of the market for us, as we have done with cookery, and then build a leadership position in these markets has helped to drive this performance. We are well positioned for the future."
For further information, please contact:
|Daniel de Belder/Ben Woodford, Bell Pottinger||+44 (0) 20 7861 3232|
|Nigel Newton, Chief Executive, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc||+44 (0) 20 7631 5630|
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