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|
|Academic and Professional||11,824||11,335||4%|
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
|Hudson Sandler||+44 (0) 20 7796 4133|
|Dan de Belder / Hattie Dreyfus||[email protected]|
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