Regulatory announcements

Unaudited Interim Results for the six months ended 31 August 2020

27 October 2020

Record first half earnings performance
Interim dividend declared



Bloomsbury, the leading independent publisher, today announces unaudited results for the six months ended 31 August 2020.

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

“Bloomsbury experienced excellent trading in the first half with year-on-year profit growth of 60% to £4.0 million. This has delivered our highest first half earnings since 2008 and exceeded the Board’s expectations.

Online book sales and e-book revenues were significantly higher.

The Consumer division had an excellent performance with 17% revenue growth and a £2.1 million increase in profit before tax and highlighted items to £2.7 million. Stand-out bestsellers during the period included Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race, Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood, White Rage, Humankind and Such A Fun Age.

In the Non-Consumer division, our strategy of developing online academic resources, conceived five years ago, meant we were well placed to benefit from the accelerated shift by academic institutions to digital products to support remote learning. We saw 47% growth in sales of Bloomsbury Digital Resources as a result.

Bloomsbury is in a strong financial position, with net cash of £44.1 million at 31 August 2020, as a result of excellent trading in the first half and the swift measures taken by the Board to control costs and strengthen Bloomsbury’s balance sheet. The strength of our financial position meant that we continued to operate effectively, invest in new content, and build a strong pipeline of authors and titles. Bloomsbury is well positioned for the future, with sufficient working capital and significant headroom for acquisitions opportunities.

In light of our strong financial position and the importance of our dividend policy, we are resuming an interim dividend of 1.28 pence per share, in line with last year.

I would like to thank our staff, authors, illustrators, distributors and suppliers for their resilience, initiative and determination. They continue to be motivated, adaptable and effective, which is demonstrated by the strength of our first half performance. This, together with the strength of our publishing strategy supported by our solid financial position, gives me confidence in Bloomsbury’s future performance.”



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

Financial Highlights

  • Revenues increased by 10% to £78.3 million (2019: £71.3 million)
  • Profit before taxation and highlighted items1 grew by 60% to £4.0 million (2019: £2.5 million)
  • Profit before taxation grew by £1.7 million to £3.0 million (2019: £1.3 million)
  • Diluted earnings per share, excluding highlighted items1, grew by 55% to 4.13 pence (2019: 2.66 pence)2
  • Diluted earnings per share grew by 131% to 2.87 pence (2019: 1.24 pence)2
  • Net cash of £44.1 million at 31 August 2020, up £24.0 million from last year (2019: £20.1 million)
  • Interim dividend of 1.28 pence per share (2019: 1.28 pence per share)

Operational Highlights 

Consumer Division

  • Consumer revenue growth of 17% to £48.6 million (2019: £41.5 million)
  • Consumer profit before taxation and highlighted items1 increase of £2.1 million to £2.7 million (2019: £0.6 million)
  • Excellent Adult Trade performance, with revenue up 16% to £18.8 million (2019: £16.2 million) and profit before taxation and highlighted items1 of £1.1 million (2019: £0.1 million loss)
  • Excellent Children’s Trade performance, with revenue up 18% to £29.8 million (2019: £25.3 million) and profit before taxation and highlighted items1 of £1.7 million (2019: £0.8 million)
  • Strong sales of Sarah J. Maas front and backlist titles; Harry Potter sales were robust; encouraging growth in other Children’s titles

Non-Consumer Division

  • Non-Consumer revenues of £29.7 million (2019: £29.9 million)
  • Resilient Academic & Professional performance, with Non-Consumer revenue within 1% of 2019 and profit before taxation and highlighted items1 of £1.4 million (2019: £1.8 million)
  • Bloomsbury Digital Resources (“BDR”) revenues up 47% to £5.6 million
  • Strong growth in BDR products and Academic e-books, offset by an expected reduction in print sales



1 Highlighted items comprise amortisation of acquired intangible assets and legal and other professional costs and restructuring costs relating to ongoing and completed acquisitions.

2 Restatement of earnings per share due to bonus issue of shares in the period.


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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