Regulatory announcements

Audited Preliminary Results for the year ended 28 February 2019

21 May 2019

Bloomsbury today announces audited results for the year ended 28 February 2019.
Strong strategic delivery and earnings growth

Bloomsbury, the leading independent publisher, today announces audited results for the year ended 28 February 2019, ahead of expectations.

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

“Bloomsbury had a very strong year. Our results, with profits before tax and highlighted items up 9%, demonstrate the underlying strength, resilience and further potential of our global publishing strategy. Our Academic and Professional division delivered an outstanding performance with 13% revenue growth and profit before tax and highlighted items up £3.5 million. We had an exceptional result in our Adult division, where profit before tax and highlighted items grew by £1.1 million, in a year in which we had many novels, works of narrative non-fiction and cookery titles including Fresh Start by Tom Kerridge, hit the bestseller lists in our core publishing area.

A year ago, I announced the Bigger Bloomsbury strategy; we have delivered all seven initiatives, including improving our working capital by reducing inventories by £2 million and growing Academic and Professional digital resource revenue by 42%. These initiatives focus on our key growth drivers with targeted strategies across the Group to help grow our revenues and increase our margins over the next four years.

Our strong financial position and excellent cash generation, with cash of £27.6 million and cash conversion of 128%, give us great opportunities for further acquisitions and investment in organic growth. Our proposed dividend increase of 6% delivers our 24th year of consecutive dividend growth.”


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Financial Highlights

  • Profit before taxation and highlighted items* grew by 9% to £14.4 million, up from £13.2 million in 2017/18, ahead of market expectations
  • Total revenues rose to £162.7 million (2017/18: £161.5 million)
  • Profit before taxation grew by 3% to £12.0 million (2017/18: £11.6 million)
  • Diluted earnings per share, excluding highlighted items*, grew by 8% to 14.97p (2017/18: 13.92p)
  • Diluted earnings per share grew by 16% to 12.25p (2017/18: 12.06p)
  • Cash conversion of 128% (2017/18: 161%), excluding the acquisition, with net cash of £27.6 million at 28 February 2019 (2018: £25.4 million)
  • Proposed final dividend up 6% to 6.75p per share, making a total dividend of 7.96p per share for the year (2017/18: 7.51p per share)
  • 24th consecutive year of dividend growth

Operational Highlights
Non-Consumer Division

  • Excellent Academic & Professional performance, with profit before highlighted items of £3.1 million (2017/18: loss of £0.4 million) and revenue up 13%
  • Non-Consumer revenues grow 7% to £63.4 million (2017/18: £59.3 million)
  • Bloomsbury Digital Resources 2020 (“BDR 2020”) Academic & Professional revenues up 42% on a like-for-like basis, excluding the impact of IFRS 15
  • Five new digital resources launched during the year, as planned
  • Acquisition of I.B. Tauris (“IBT”) in May 2018 completed for £5.6 million, strengthening our digital resources with its quality academic IP
  • IBT delivered £2.5 million of revenue and £0.4 million of profit before highlighted items for the first ten months of ownership
  • Substantial new B2B five-year digital subscription contract with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (“ICAEW”), announced in October 2018

Consumer Division

  • Resilient full year results, with profit before highlighted items of £10.7 million (2017/18: £11.4 million)
  • Exceptional Adult Trade performance, with operating profit before highlighted items of £0.9 million (2017/18: loss of £0.2 million) and revenue up 1%
  • Children’s Trade delivered profit before highlighted items of £9.8 million (2017/18: £11.6 million), with enduring sales of the Harry Potter series against last year’s very strong comparative with the twentieth anniversary. Sarah J. Maas titles continued their bestselling performance, including the new bestseller, Kingdom of Ash, and revenue and profit growth delivered in the rest of the Children’s division

Bigger Bloomsbury
Bigger Bloomsbury represents our seven key growth initiatives, announced in May 2018. During the year, we delivered all seven of these initiatives, with notable highlights including delivering excellent growth in Adult and Academic & Professional profitability, international growth and continued working capital improvement.

* Highlighted items comprise amortisation of acquired intangible assets and restructuring costs and legal and other professional fees relating to the acquisition of IBT.


For further information, please contact:

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc +44 (0) 20 7631 5630
Nigel Newton, Chief Executive
Penny Scott-Bayfield, Group Finance Director

FTI Consulting +44 (0) 203 727 1000
Charles Palmer / Dwight Burden / Leah Dudley [email protected]


Certain information in this announcement has not been audited or otherwise independently verified and no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to, and no reliance should be placed on, the fairness, accuracy, completeness or correctness of the information or opinions contained herein. None of the Company or any of its affiliates, advisors or representatives shall have any liability whatsoever (in negligence or otherwise) for any loss whatsoever arising from any use of this announcement, or its contents, or otherwise arising in connection with this announcement.

This announcement does not constitute or form part of any offer or invitation to sell, or any solicitation of any offer to purchase any shares in the Company, nor shall it or any part of it or the fact of its distribution form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract or commitment or investment decisions relating thereto, nor does it constitute a recommendation regarding the shares of the Company.

Certain statements, statistics and projections in this announcement are or may be forward looking. By their nature, forward‑looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties or assumptions that may or may not occur and actual results or events may differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that any particular expectation will be met and reliance should not be placed on any forward-looking statement. Accordingly, forward-looking statements contained in this announcement regarding past trends or activities should not be taken as representation that such trends or activities will continue in the future. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are based on the knowledge and information available only at the date of this announcement’s preparation.

The Company does not undertake any obligation to update or keep current the information contained in this announcement, including any forward‑looking statements, or to correct any inaccuracies which may become apparent and any opinions expressed in it are subject to change without notice.

References in this announcement to other reports or materials, such as a website address, have been provided to direct the reader to other sources of information on Bloomsbury Publishing Plc which may be of interest. Neither the content of Bloomsbury’s website nor any website accessible by hyperlinks from Bloomsbury’s website nor any additional materials contained or accessible thereon, are incorporated in, or form part of, this announcement.


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