U.K-based publisher Bloomsbury reported that revenue from continuing operations rose 1%, to £98.5 million, for the fiscal year ended February 28 and pre-tax income increased 16%, to £9.8 million. The revenue gain was led by a 71% increase in digital sales, to £10.0 million, which offset a 2% drop in print sales. Revenue growth also benefited from the acquisitions of Fairchild Books and Applied Visual Arts Publishing in the year which added £6.0 million. Results exclude Bloomsbury’s German subsidiary which was sold in the year.
The higher gain in earnings was attributed to controls on production, marketing and distribution costs. Chairman Nigel Newton said that in five years he expects that about half of Bloomsbury profits will come from digital products.
During fiscal 2013, Bloomsbury united its worldwide operations into three groups--adult trade, academic & professional, and children’s & education. The adult division generated 45% of Bloomsbury’s revenue last year despite a dip in sales to £44.3 million from £45.1 million. Print sales decreased by 7% to £34.3 million, but digital sales in the division rose 32% to £5.6 million, representing 13% of continuing sales, up from 9% in fiscal 2012. Bloomsbury reported that the highest penetration of e-book sales remained in the U.S. at 27% of net title sales, but that U.K. e-book sales are accelerating and now at 11% of net title sales. “Other territories are also growing rapidly,” Bloomsbury said. Part of Bloomsbury motivation for forming worldwide divisions was to encourage acquiring and publishing titles with global English-language rights. During fiscal 2013, Bloomsbury invested in the area of high-quality cooking books with the potential for global sales.
The company’s report did breakdown revenues by geographic region and sales in North America rose to £28.9 million from £23.5 million.
Bloomsbury was optimistic about prospects for the current year, citing an “exceptional publishing program” and “opportunities for growth in many areas, including; digital sales (e-books, knowledge hubs and academic and professional online services), publishing services sales and global title sales - particularly in India, Latin America and China.”