Regulatory announcements

AGM Trading Update

21 July 2020

Bloomsbury announces its trading update for the four months ended 30 June 2020, ahead of the Company’s Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) at 12.00pm today.

Bloomsbury experienced strong trading for the first four months of its financial year, ahead of the Board’s expectations, with year-on-year sales growth of 18% during a period of unprecedented disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Our revenue and earnings are weighted towards the second-half, with sales of trade titles rising for Christmas and sales of academic titles being strongest at the beginning of the academic year in the Autumn.


Revenue by division 4 months to June 2020 4 months to June 2019 Growth

£'000 £'000


Children's Trade 18,776 14,734 27%

Adult Trade 12,705 9,856 29%

Total Consumer 31,481 24,590 28%



Academic and Professional 11,824 11,335 4%

Special Interest 6,189 6,188 -

Total Non-Consumer 18,013 17,522 3%

Total 49,494 42,112 18%

Print revenues were 9% above last year’s sales, and digital revenues grew by 63% year-on-year. Digital revenues include academic digital products as well as e-books and audio books. E-book revenues were 53% higher than last year and Bloomsbury Digital Resources saw year-on-year growth of 60%.

Consumer division revenues were 28% ahead of last year, with strong print and e-book sales. Adult revenues grew by 29% and Children’s revenues by 27%. Bestsellers included the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Sarah J. Maas’ Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, which has been the number one paperback Sunday Times bestseller for five weeks, White Rage by Carol Anderson, which reached number eight on the New York Times bestseller list, and Humankind by Rutger Bregman, which reached number two on the Sunday Times bestseller list.

Non-Consumer division revenue was 3% above last year, with Academic and Professional growth of 4%, with strong Academic digital growth in Bloomsbury Digital Resources and e-books, offset by significantly lower print sales. Special Interest revenue was in line with last year.

UK revenues were 16% higher than last year and US revenues grew by 38%. Sales in Australia were 1% below last year, and in India, the severe impact of government lockdowns resulted in revenues 70% below last year.


At 30 June 2020, Bloomsbury held net cash of £35.5 million and in addition has an unsecured revolving facility with Lloyds Bank Plc of £8 million in the first half and an additional £4 million in the second half, totalling £12 million, to match Bloomsbury’s cashflow cycle. With our strengthened liquidity, the Board believes that we have sufficient liquidity to weather the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and avoid damaging our business in the long-term.


As announced on 20 May 2020, no guidance is being offered due to the continuing unpredictability of the  pandemic.

When the Company completed the equity placing in April, bookshops and wholesalers worldwide had shut, academic institutions had closed, internet retailers had de-prioritised books and distributors were operating at reduced capacity with furloughed staff.

Since June, bookshops have started to re-open and internet, e-book, digital resource and some bookshop sales are doing well. We have had a significant number one bestseller in the UK, as well as bestsellers in the US. In the UK, Nielsen showed an increase of 19.1% in value and 17.6% in volume for the four weeks to 11 July 2020, over the same period in 2019.

Our digital strategy has placed us well to benefit from increased demand for digital resources, audio and e-books during the pandemic. Academic institutions are facing changes in their student mix, with fewer international students, and their higher fees.

Our good May and June performance in particular were unexpected, and historically demand for books has been resilient in times of economic downturns. However, our customers are unclear about what is to follow. Our outlook in the next eight months therefore remains uncertain as the pandemic continues.

Bloomsbury has a successful track record of acquisitions and we are considering opportunities in Academic publishing.

The results for the six months ending 31 August 2020 will be announced on 27 October 2020.


For further information, please contact:

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc  
Nigel Newton, Chief Executive
Penny Scott-Bayfield, Group Finance Director
[email protected]
[email protected]
Hudson Sandler +44 (0) 20 7796 4133
Dan de Belder / Hattie Dreyfus [email protected]


The 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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