Revenue at U.K.-based Bloomsbury rose 11% in the fiscal year ended February 28, 2014, to £109.5 million, compared to the previous year. Operating profit dipped to £7.7 million from £7.8 million.
Sales in all of Bloomsbury’s major segments rose in the year led by what Nigel Newton called a “spectacular” year in the adult group where sales rose to £49.9 million from £44.3 million. Print sales increased by 17.3%, while digital sales increased by 26% to £7.1 million, representing 14% of sales up from 13%. Highlights of the year included the success of Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season which was simultaneously published worldwide and did well throughout the English-speaking world in print, digital and digital audio, Bloomsbury said.
Revenue in its children’s group increased to £23.6 million from £21.3 million). Much of the growth this year came from sales of new books within the U.K., with a significant proportion of that coming from illustrated books, Bloomsbury said. The division’s U.K. trade print sales increased 21.5%, while sales in the U.S. fell 1% mainly due to soft e-book sales where digital sales accounted for 16% of net sales down from 20%. Bloomsbury added, however, that sales in its first e-first imprint, Bloomsbury Spark, sales have been good, particularly in the U.S. The imprint has released seven titles since December.
Sales in the academic & professional business rose 11% to £32.1 million helped by the acquisition of Hart Publishing and higher e-book sales which accounted for 10% of revenue, up form 8%.
In a breakdown by geography, total Bloomsbury sales in North America rose to £33 million from £31.8 million.
Newton said Bloomsbury long-term strategy continues to be centered on “building its non-consumer publishing, specifically its Academic & Professional division, to balance the consumer revenues in the business.” In the 2014/15 year Bloomsbury “will continue to invest in the business in a number of areas; the launch of new digital services for academic and general customers, a new internal institutional digital sales force, a year-long Harry Potter marketing campaign, which will accompany the new jackets, and new staff for global business development at Bloomsbury Information.”