The sale of its German subsidiary at the end of its fiscal year plus the £19.2 million pound purchase of Continuum helped to make the fiscal year ended February 29 a transformational year” the U.K.-based Bloomsbury Publishing reported Tuesday morning. Total sales rose 5%, to £97.4 million, and net income increased 55%, to £3.4 million.
Bloomsbury reported that in the fiscal year continuing print sales were up 6% to £78.9 million and continuing digital sales (which comprise ebook and digital subscription sales) were up 170% to £5.9 million. Continuing rights & services revenue increased by £5.9 million, to £12.6 million, largely due to increased licensing with almost half of this income related to digital products. The company continued its expansion program after the end of the fiscal year with the purchase of Fairchild Books for £6.1 million.
As part of its “One Global Bloomsbury” strategy, Bloomsbury no longer breaks out results by geographic division (no report on Bloomsbury USA, for example), but it did report that North America accounted for £26.1 million of its overall sales in the year, £23.5 million of which was generated in the region, while £2.6 million was sourced from the U.K. In the U.S., e-book sales were 23% of continuing sales compared to the U.K. where they were 3%; Bloomsbury anticipates most markets will reach the U.S. level of e-book sales in the near to medium term future. The U.S. also had the strongest growth of Bloomsbury’s adult trade divisions, boosted by its first National Book Award winner, Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward.
In its children’s division, total e-book sales rose 303% year on year to £1.1 million, representing 4% of total continuing sales, and the company, which was the original publisher of Harry Potter, noted that it will receive a share of the revenues from the sale of e-books from Pottermore.com. Also in 2012 Bloomsbury is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on June 26th 2012 with a large consumer competition to drive people into bookshops and libraries.