Regulatory announcements

Trading Update

30 March 2022

Trading materially ahead of upgraded expectations

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (LSE: BMY), the leading independent publisher, today announces a further year-end trading update for the 12 months ending 28 February 2022.

Revenue is expected to be comfortably ahead and profit materially ahead of upgraded market expectations for the year ended 28 February 2022, surpassing the guidance provided in our statement on 26 January 2022*.

Nigel Newton, Chief Executive, said:

“Bloomsbury excellent performance demonstrates the strength and resilience of our business and the successful execution of our digital and acquisition strategy. In February, the final month of our financial year, Bloomsbury delivered exceptional sales, in part driven by Sarah J. Maas’ new title, Crescent City: House of Sky and Breath, which was a global number one bestseller.

Alongside this strong performance, we successfully mitigated ongoing print supply chain challenges, including printing titles earlier than usual and being flexible about where we print. We remain confident in the strength and resilience of our business and our long-term strategy.”

Consumer

This second upgrade follows exceptional February trading in the Consumer division. Sarah J. Maas’ new novel, Crescent City: A House of Sky and Breath was published on 15 February 2022 and instantly became a number one global bestseller. Other frontlist bestsellers included What I Wish People Knew About Dementia by Wendy Mitchell (published 20 January 2022), Violeta by Isabel Allende (published 25 January 2022) and The Leviathan by Rosie Andrews (published 3 February 2022). Strong backlist sales continued, in particular of Harry Potter, Sarah J. Maas and the TikTok sensation, Madeline Miller’s Song of Achilles.

Non-Consumer – Successful execution of our digital strategy

Six years ago, we announced the creation of the Bloomsbury Digital Resources division (“BDR”), with the long-term strategic goal of building high margin, high quality revenues by developing digital academic content and platforms. We are delighted to announce that we have beaten the target announced in May 2016 of generating £15 million of sales and £5 million of profit by the year ending 28 February 2022.

BDR is set for a new era of growth through the acquisition of ABC-CLIO, who have major digital resources in the US high school library market, and ambitious continued organic growth. In February, we launched a new TCG Books Play Collection on the market leading digital platform, Drama Online. TCG Books is the largest independent trade publisher of drama in North America, with 18 winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama on its list.

We will provide further details with our preliminary results in May 2022.

Board appointment

Bloomsbury is pleased to announce that John Bason will join the Board as a Non-Executive Director on 1 April 2022. John is currently the Finance Director of Associated British Foods Plc, having been appointed in May 1999. He is also Chairman of the charity FareShare. He was a Non-Executive Director, Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Audit Committee for Compass Group Plc between 2011 and February 2022. John will also become a member of the Bloomsbury Remuneration, Audit and Nomination Committees.

Steven Hall will step down from the Board at the conclusion of Bloomsbury’s 2022 AGM taking place on 20 July 2022**. Steven joined the Board in 2017 and is the Chair of the Remuneration Committee. It is intended that Steven will be succeeded by John Bason as Chair of the Remuneration Committee.

Sir Richard Lambert, Chairman of Bloomsbury, said:

“Steve Hall joined the Bloomsbury Board five years ago, and his deep knowledge of the world of academic and professional publishing has been an invaluable support to the Company as it has built its presence in this sector.  He has been a rigorous chair of the Remuneration Committee, and a lively contributor to Board discussion. We owe him a big vote of thanks.”

There is no further information required to be disclosed pursuant to LR 9.6.13 R.

* The Board considers current consensus market expectations for the year ending 28 February 2022 to be revenue of £212.5 million and profit before taxation and highlighted items of £22.3 million.

** This statement is made in accordance with paragraph 9.6.11(2) of the Listing Rules.

 

 

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 / Hattie Dreyfus [email protected]

 

The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Group to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014 ("MAR"). Upon the publication of this announcement via a Regulatory Information Service ("RIS"), this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.

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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