Regulatory announcements

Unaudited Interim Results for the six months ended 31 August 2023

26 October 2023

Record first half earnings
Fourth consecutive double-digit growth in revenue and profit in the first half
Interim dividend increased


Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (LSE: BMY), the leading independent publisher, today announces unaudited results for the six months ended 31 August 2023.

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

“Bloomsbury achieved our fourth consecutive double-digit growth in revenue and profit in the first half. These are also our highest ever first half results, with year-on-year revenue growth of 11% to £136.7 million and profit growth of 11% to £17.7 million. These results demonstrate the strength of our strategy of publishing for both the consumer and academic markets.

Fantasy is a huge and increasingly popular genre which has driven forward our consumer division. Sales of Sarah J. Maas and Samantha Shannon grew 79% and 169% respectively in the period and demand for Harry Potter, 26 years after publication, remains strong.

The Consumer division revenue grew by 17%, achieving a 26% increase in profit before tax and highlighted items1 to £11.2 million. Bloomsbury Digital Resources (“BDR”) consolidated last year’s exceptional growth and increased subscription revenue to 47%. The Non-Consumer division’s resilient performance with 2% revenue growth and £5.9 million of profit before tax and highlighted items1 continued to demonstrate the strength of our long term academic strategy.

Since the period end, Bloomsbury author Jon Fosse won the most important prize in the literary world, The Nobel Prize in Literature, becoming the eighth Nobel Prize winner on Bloomsbury’s Methuen Drama list.

Bloomsbury’s successful strategy of diversifying across formats, markets and territories has created a stronger and more balanced business and a smoother earnings profile across the year. Recognising this, and in view of a better balance between sales in the first and second halves of the year than in the past when we were more heavily weighted to the second half and the Christmas market, we are increasing the proportion of the full year dividend paid at the interim. In line with this rebalancing and our dividend policy, the Board has increased the interim dividend to 3.70 pence per share, compared to 1.41 pence per share for the six months ended 31 August 2022. We maintain our overall dividend guidance for the full year.

The strong first half performance means that we are confident of achieving the Board’s expectations for the year ending 29 February 2024. Our strong financial position, with net cash of £39.1 million, gives us significant opportunities for further acquisitions and investment in organic growth.


The Board considers current consensus market expectation for the year ending 29 February 2024 to be revenue of £273.1 million and profit before taxation and highlighted items of £32.5 million.




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Financial Highlights

2023 2022 2021 Growth
2023 vs
2023 vs
Revenue £136.7 million £122.9 million £100.7 million11% 36%
Profit before taxation and highlighted items1 £17.7 million £15.9 million £12.9 million11% 37%
Profit before taxation £14.0 million £12.9 million £11.1 million8% 26%
Diluted earnings per share, excluding highlighted items1 17.47 pence 15.30 pence 12.82 pence14% 36%
Diluted earnings per share 13.66 pence 12.30 pence 10.41 pence11% 31%
Net cash £39.1 million £41.5 million £43.7 million(6)% (10)%
Interim dividend 3.70 pence per share 1.41 pence per share 1.34 pence per share162% 176%


Operational Highlights

Consumer Division

  • Strong Consumer revenue growth of 17% to £89.4 million (2022: £76.3 million)
  • Consumer profit before taxation and highlighted items1 increased by 26% to £11.2 million (2022: £8.9 million)
  • Adult Trade revenue up 8% to £27.6 million (2022: £25.7 million) and profit before taxation and highlighted items1 of £0.1 million (2022: £0.2 million)
  • Children’s Trade revenue growth of 22% to £61.7 million (2022: £50.6 million) and profit before taxation and highlighted items1 up 29% to £11.1 million (2022: £8.7 million)
  • Sales growth of Sarah J. Maas’ titles of 79%; Harry Potter sales were strong 26 years after it was first published

Non-Consumer Division

  • Non-Consumer revenue growth of 2% to £47.3 million (2022: £46.6 million)
  • Non-Consumer profit before taxation and highlighted items1 of £5.9 million (2022: £7.1 million)
  • Academic & Professional revenue of £36.4 million (2022: £36.5 million) and profit before taxation and highlighted items1 of £5.9 million (2022: £7.3 million)
  • Bloomsbury Digital Resources (“BDR”) revenue of £13.3 million (2022: £13.6 million)
  • On track for our new BDR target of 40% organic revenue growth over the five years to 2027/28


1 Highlighted items comprise amortisation of acquired intangible assets and 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 / Emily Brooker [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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