Regulatory announcements

Audited Preliminary Results for the year ended 28 February 2017

18 May 2017

Bloomsbury today announces audited results for the year ended 28 February 2017.


To view a full version of the results in
PDF format click here

Financial highlights

  • Revenues grew by 15% to £142.6 million (2016: £123.7 million) 
  • Profit before taxation and highlighted items* of £12.0 million (2016: £13.0 million), above market expectations
  • Final dividend of 5.6p per share making a total dividend of 6.7p per share for the year (2016: 6.4p per share)
  • Diluted earnings per share, excluding highlighted items, were 12.63p (2016: 15.24p)
  • Strong cash generation with net cash of £15.5m at 28 February 2017 (2016: £5.2m)

Operational Highlights

Consumer division

  • The Consumer division, consisting of Adult and Children’s trade publishing, had an exceptional year, due primarily to an excellent Children’s performance.  Revenue increased 28% to £85.4m (2016: £66.4m) and operating profit before highlighted items increased by 33% to £7.9m (2016: £6.0m)
  • Children’s
    • Revenue for the year increased by 48% to £55.9m (2016: £37.7m)
    • Sales of the Harry Potter series in the year grew by 88%, including Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated Edition.
    • Sales of Sarah J. Maas grew by 87% globally, including A Court of Mist and Fury,  which was number one on the New York Times Young Adult bestseller list
    • Neil Gaiman reached number one in The Sunday Times fiction bestseller list with Norse Mythology
  • Adult division
    • Revenue increased by 3% year on year to £29.5m (2016: £28.7m)
    • Highlights include William Boyd’s Sweet Caress, Celia Imrie’s Nice Work if You Can Get It, Hannah Rothschild’s Improbability of Love and Natasha Pulley’s The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
    • The cookery list continues to perform well, notably Tom Kerridge’s Dopamine Diet which reached number one on The Sunday Times non-fiction bestseller list, and Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons by Raymond Blanc

Non-Consumer division

  • The Non-Consumer division, consisting of Academic & Professional, Special Interest and Content Services, generated revenues of £57.2m (2016: £57.3m) and operating profit before highlighted items of £4.1m (2016: £7.1m).  Profits were affected by the end of the term of the Qatar contract and investment in the Bloomsbury 2020digital resources growth strategy

Progress on Bloomsbury 2020 digital resources growth strategy

    • As planned, four new digital resources were launched: Fairchild Books Library, The Fashion Photography Archive, Arcadian Library and Bloomsbury Popular Music
    • Digital resources revenues grew by 50% to £3.9 million (2016: £2.6 million)
    • Strong pipeline with three new resources to be launched over the next year: The Bloomsbury Design Library, The Bloomsbury Food Library and Bloomsbury Cultural History

Strong list for the year ahead

    • Illustrated Edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and the Illustrated Edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
    • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Mass
    • The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray
    • Breaking Mad by Anna Williamson

Commenting on the results, Nigel Newton, Chief Executive, said:

"This has been a very strong year for Bloomsbury with excellent revenue growth in all our territories. Our children’s publishing, in particular, had an exceptional year, delivering double digit revenue growth for the fourth year in a row.

We are very pleased also at the impact of our trade publishing, having had two simultaneous number one bestsellers in February– Tom Kerridge’s Dopamine Diet topping The Sunday Times non-fiction bestseller list and Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology the fiction list. This was followed by George Saunders’ extraordinary and brilliant novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, going to Number 1 on the Evening Standard bestseller list in March. The way we publish all three books reflects the significant success of our trade publishing

We have also made substantial progress in delivery of our Bloomsbury 2020 digital resource strategy. We completed a new platform to host our digital resources and launched four new major resources during the year. It was particularly encouraging to see digital resource revenues exceeding expectations, increasing 50% year-on-year.

We are well-placed for the coming year. We are launching three further major digital resources, as planned, and have an exciting publishing list from new and existing authors.”

* Highlighted items comprise amortisation of acquired intangible assets and other one-off significant non-cash charges and major one-off initiatives including legal and other professional costs relating to acquisitions and restructuring costs.


For further information, please contact:

Daniel de Belder/Charles Stewart, Bell Pottinger +44 (0) 20 3772 2500
Nigel Newton, Chief Executive, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc +44 (0) 20 7494 6015

Forward-looking statements: Statements contained in this Annual Results Announcement are based on the knowledge and information available to the Company's directors at the date it was prepared and therefore the facts stated and views expressed may change after that date. By their nature, the statements concerning the risks and uncertainties facing the Company in this Annual Results Announcement involve uncertainty since future events and circumstances can cause results and developments to differ materially from those anticipated. To the extent that this Annual Results Announcement contains any statement dealing with any time after the date of its preparation such statement is merely predictive and speculative as it relates to events and circumstances which are yet to occur. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.



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