BookBrunch reports that Quercus results for the six months ended June 30 show turnover up 10.9% to £10.2m (2012: £9.2m), with non-Larsson revenues up 53% to £9.5m (2012: £6.2m). Operating profit was down 7% to £0.52m (2012: £0.56m).
The publisher’s investment in digital is paying off nicely, with revenue up 46% to £3.5 million; digital revenue as a percentage of total revenue was 34.3% (2012: 25.6%). Selling and distribution costs were £1.4 million (2012: £1.3 million), reflecting the increase in revenue. Administrative expenses increased to £3.5 million (2012: £3.3 million), reflecting the full cost of the increase in staff during 2012. Exceptional items of £0.2 million (2012: £0.1 million) relate to the costs incurred in the set-up of Quercus Publishing Inc. Cash at the bank and in hand stands at £0.3m (Dec. 31, 2012: £1.85m).
Bestsellers in the period included The Lewis Trilogy by Peter May, Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd, Dark Winter by David Mark, The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson, and Africa by Michael Bright.
Commenting on the results CEO Mark Smith said: "The first half of 2013 saw Quercus' return to top line growth after the peak of the Larsson trilogy in 2010, and the prior years' investments in intellectual property, staff and infrastructure are now coming on stream. The reduction in operating profit for the period is a reflection of the higher level of returns of physical titles from the U.K. book trade over the first six months."
Quercus is set fair for its U.S. launch, with George Washington: Gentleman Warrior by British author Stephen Brumwell (already published in the U.K.) having won the 2013 George Washington Book Prize, and Alex by Pierre Lemaitre the joint winner of the Crime Writers' Association International Dagger.
In the U.K. this autumn, where titles are now sold by Quercus' own sales force, Smith believes the company has one of its strongest-ever publishing programs, with titles including That Close by Suggs and The Great British Year, a tie-in to the forthcoming BBC series. The Higgidy Cookbook, from the award-winning pie range, is receiving strong support from the book trade, as are Olivier by Philip Ziegler, King: My Autobiography by Ledley King, and Rising Tides: Dealing with the Challenges of a New Era by Liam Fox MP. New fiction includes When You Walked Back Into My Life by Hilary Boyd, Motherland by William Nicholson, Prayer by Philip Kerr, and The Flavours of Love by Dorothy Koomson.