Regulatory announcements

Unaudited Interim Results for the six months ended 31 August 2019

29 October 2019

Strong Non-Consumer growth and delivery of diversified strategy

Bloomsbury, the leading independent publisher, today announces unaudited results for the six months ended 31 August 2019.

The Group delivered an encouraging first half and performance is in line with the Board's expectations for the full year. Traditionally, sales of trade titles peak for Christmas and sales of academic titles at the beginning of the academic year in the Autumn. With our strong Consumer list in the second half, our sales are therefore expected to be even more second-half weighted than in previous years.

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

"Bloomsbury had an encouraging first half. The Academic & Professional division delivered an excellent performance with 9% revenue growth and profit before tax and highlighted items up £1.8 million. This included outstanding revenue growth of 73% from Bloomsbury Digital Resources, which has moved into profit. Drama Online is the premier reference resource in its field, and now includes our new partnership with the National Theatre.

The robust growth of the Non-Consumer division's revenue and profitability demonstrate the continued delivery of our diversified, international strategy. The Consumer division results are more heavily weighted to the second half this year, with our biggest titles, including the illustrated Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay, published in October ahead of the peak Christmas period.

In Consumer, our very strong list for the second half, with 10 recent, current and potential bestsellers, includes William Dalrymple's The Anarchy, The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, the Dishoom cookbook, Tom Kerridge's new blockbuster in December, Lose Weight and Get Fit, and Sarah J. Maas' Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood. These follow bestsellers in the first half including Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, which was number one on the Sunday Times bestseller list for four weeks, and Mudlarking by Lara Maiklem.

Our strong financial position and good cash generation, with a £3.1 million increase in cash since 31 August 2018, give us significant opportunities for further acquisitions and investment in organic growth. With a proposed interim dividend increase of 6%, we are on track to deliver our 25th year of consecutive dividend growth.

The Group is performing in line with the Board's expectations for the full year."



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Financial Highlights

  • Profit before taxation and highlighted items* of £2.5 million (2018: £2.9 million**)
  • Revenues were £71.3 million (2018: £75.3 million**)
  • Profit before taxation was £1.3 million (2018: £1.6 million)
  • Diluted earnings per share, excluding highlighted items*, of 2.74 pence (2018: 3.14 pence)
  • Diluted earnings per share of 1.28 pence (2018: 1.62 pence)
  • £3.1 million increase in cash to £20.1 million at 31 August 2019 (2018: £16.9 million)
  • Interim dividend up 6% to 1.28 pence per share (2018: 1.21 pence per share)

Operational Highlights 
Non-Consumer Division 

  • Excellent Academic & Professional performance, with revenue up 9% and profit before taxation and highlighted items* of £1.8 million (2018: £0.1 million)
  • Non-Consumer revenues up 6% to £29.9 million (2018: £28.3 million)
  • Bloomsbury Digital Resources 2020 ("BDR 2020") revenues up 73% to £3.8 million and moves into profit
  • BDR 2020 partnerships with Taylor & Francis and Human Kinetics in development and the new National Theatre collection included in Drama Online

Consumer Division

  • Our Consumer frontlist is even more heavily weighted to the second half than in previous years, with our biggest titles published in the Autumn, including 10 recent, current and potential bestsellers
  • Consumer profit before taxation and highlighted items* of £0.6 million (2018: £3.1 million)
  • Consumer revenue of £41.5 million (2018: £47.0 million)
  • Good Adult Trade performance, with revenue up 2% to £16.2 million (2018: £15.9 million) and loss before taxation and highlighted items* of £0.1 million (2018: £0.4 million profit)
  • Delivering Adult transformation with revenue growth against a strong comparative last year which included the exceptional cookery backlist sales
  • Children's Trade delivered profit before taxation and highlighted items* of £0.8 million (2018: £2.8 million) and revenue of £25.3 million (2018: £31.1 million)
  • In Children's, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay and Sarah J. Maas' Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood are in the second half. Last year the first half included two Sarah J. Maas frontlist titles compared to one this year
  • Sales of Harry Potter titles remain strong following the 20th anniversary year in 2017/18. In context, first half sales were 13% higher than H1 2016/17 and 16% below last year
  • New Audio division, with an expert team focusing on production of key titles, launching with the Audible bestseller, The Madness of Crowds, narrated by its author Douglas Murray
  • Appointment of Paul Baggaley as Editor-In-Chief of Bloomsbury Adult; Paul is one of the most highly regarded figures in the industry, and joins us from Picador


* Highlighted items comprise amortisation of acquired intangible assets and legal and other professional costs and restructuring costs relating to ongoing and completed acquisitions.
** Exceptional comparator for the Consumer Division; last year included exceptional Cookery sales.



For further information, please contact:

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

Hudson Sandler +44 (0) 20 7796 4133
Dan de Belder / Hattie Dreyfus [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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