27 October 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.
|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%|
- 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
Full results report here