Regulatory announcements

Unaudited Interim Results for the six months ended 31 August 2021

27 October 2021

Record first half earnings performance
Sales up 29% as reading surge continues
Interim dividend increased

Bloomsbury, the leading independent publisher, today announces unaudited results for the six months ended 31 August 2021.

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

“Bloomsbury delivered excellent results in the first half with year-on-year revenue growth of 29% to £100.7 million and profit growth of 225% to £12.9 million. These are our highest ever first half sales and profits. These results demonstrate the strength and resilience of our strategy of publishing for both the consumer and academic markets, and our growth of digital revenues.

During the first half, we successfully mitigated print supply chain challenges. This included earlier printing, well in advance of our usual peaks in the run up to Christmas and the beginning of the academic year in the Autumn. Other measures taken included agility about where we print.

Both divisions had outstanding performances. The Consumer division continued the momentum of last year with 29% revenue growth and a £5.6 million increase in profit before tax and highlighted items to £8.4 million. Bestsellers during the period included Tom Kerridge’s Outdoor Cooking, Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas, The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon and The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. Since the period end Bloomsbury authors have won two of the most important prizes in the literary world, The Nobel Prize for Literature and The Women’s Prize, which were won by Abdulrazak Gurnah and Susanna Clarke respectively. We congratulate them both.

The Non-Consumer division saw 27% growth and a £3.2 million increase in profit before tax and highlighted items to £4.6 million. Bloomsbury Digital Resources grew by 44% in addition to a very strong recovery in print sales, which grew by 34%. The focus on our online academic digital resource strategy means we are well placed to continue to benefit from the accelerated shift by academic institutions to digital products to support hybrid learning.

We completed two acquisitions in the period, as previously announced. We achieved another key step in the delivery of our long-term growth strategy expanding our Non-Consumer business, with the acquisition of the Red Globe Press (“RGP”) list. Acquiring these complementary lists accelerates our digital growth and our significant presence in humanities and social sciences academic publishing. Our acquisition of Head of Zeus Limited (“HoZ”) has provided a strong addition to Bloomsbury’s thriving Consumer division and supports our long-term Consumer growth strategy.

Our strong financial position and cash generation give us significant opportunities for further acquisitions and investment in organic growth. In recognition of our strong performance and in line with our dividend policy, we are announcing a 5% increase in our interim dividend to 1.34 pence per share.

Retailers and online booksellers have significantly increased stock levels over previous years to ensure they have sufficient stock for Christmas given the supply chain problems. Our first half revenues have therefore been boosted by customers ordering earlier than in previous years.

Whilst the Board remains mindful of the external environment, including impediments in the supply chain and the possibility of higher returns of the increased stock ordered early, the strength of the first half performance means that we are confident in achieving market expectations for the year ending 28 February 2022.*”

* The Board considers current consensus market expectation for the year ending 28 February 2022 to be revenue of £193.4 million and profit before taxation and highlighted items of £19.3 million.

 

 

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Financial Highlights

2021 2020 Growth
Revenue £100.7 million £78.3 million 29%
Profit before taxation and highlighted items1 £12.9 million £4.0 million 220%
Profit before taxation £11.1 million £3.0 million 265%
Diluted earnings per share, excluding highlighted items1 12.82 pence 4.13 pence 210%
Diluted earnings per share 10.41 pence 2.87 pence 263%
Net cash £43.7 million £44.1 million (1)%
Interim dividend 1.34 pence per share 1.28 pence per share 5%

 

Operational Highlights

Consumer Division

  • Strong Consumer revenue growth of 29% to £62.9 million (2020: £48.6 million)
  • Consumer profit before taxation and highlighted items1 increased by £5.6 million to £8.4 million (2020: £2.7 million)
  • Organic revenue growth was 24% and organic profit growth was £5.2 million, with Head of Zeus, completed in June, contributing £2.7 million revenue and £0.4 million profit before taxation and highlighted items1 to Adult Trade
  • Strong Adult Trade performance, with revenue up 27% to £23.9 million (2020: £18.8 million) and profit before taxation and highlighted items1 up 23% to £1.3 million (2020: £1.1 million)
  • Excellent Children’s Trade performance, with revenue growth of 31% to £39.0 million (2020: £29.8 million) and profit before taxation and highlighted items1 up £5.4 million to £7.1 million (2020: £1.7 million)
  • Strong sales of Sarah J. Maas front and backlist titles, with 130% growth; Harry Potter sales were good; growth of 10% in other Children’s titles
  • Acquisition of HoZ in June 2021, providing a strong addition to the thriving Consumer division and supporting out long term Consumer growth strategy
  • Bloomsbury won Trade Publisher of The Year at the Independent Publishing Awards 2021

Non-Consumer Division

  • Excellent Non-Consumer performance, with revenue growth of 27% to £37.7 million (2020: £29.7 million)
  • Non-Consumer profit before taxation and highlighted items1 increased by 220% to £4.6 million (2020: £1.4 million)
  • Organic revenue growth was 21% and organic profit growth was 211%, with RGP, completed in June, contributing £1.7 million revenue and £0.4 million profit before taxation and highlighted items1 to Academic & Professional
  • Strong Academic & Professional performance, with revenue growth of 32% to £26.4 million (2020: £20.1 million) and profit before taxation and highlighted items1 up 121% to £3.9 million (2020: £1.8 million)
  • Bloomsbury won Academic Publisher of the year at the 2021 British Book Awards
  • Bloomsbury Digital Resources (“BDR”) revenue up 44% to £8.0 million (2020: £5.6 million) and profit of £2.8 million (2020: £1.2 million)
  • On track to achieve our five year BDR ambition for revenue of £15 million and profit of £5 million for 2021/22
  • New BDR target from 2022/23 of achieving a further 50% organic growth and 30% margin over the next five years

Note

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

 

For further information, please contact:

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

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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