Bloomsbury Publishing reported an 11% increase in both sales and profits in the fiscal year ended February 28, 2016, over fiscal 2015. Revenue was 123.7 million pounds, while profits were 9.7 million pounds. The company also announced that it was instituting a new initiative, Bloomsbury 2020, with the goal of shifting the company from primarily a publisher of consumer books to one focusing on non-consumer areas in the academic and professional categories.
As part of that reorganization, chairman Nigel Newton said Bloomsbury is being restructured into two main groups. Beginning June 1, a consumer division will be created by merging the children's trade and adult trade businesses. This new division will be managed by Emma Hopkin, who is currently the managing director of the children's & educational division.
All other operations will be in the non-consumer division, which will be managed by Jonathan Glasspool, who is currently director of the academic and professional division and reports to Richard Charkin. Charkin will remain on the Bloomsbury board and, in addition to the non-consumer division, he will focus on growth areas, including special interest and the Bloomsbury India business. He will continue full time at the company until February 28, 2017, after which he will change to two days a week.
Looking at fiscal 2016 results, the sales increase was led by last year’s purchase of Osprey, which generated revenue of 7.2 million pounds in its first full year as part of Bloomsbury. (Osprey contributed 1.5 million pounds to Bloombury in fiscal 2015.)
Sales in the children’s and educational division rose 57% in the year, led by a 133% jump in sales of Harry Potter books. Sales in the adult division were up 3% over fiscal 2015. The children’s and educational and adult division combined to account for about 70% of Bloomsbury's revenue last year.
Revenue in the academic and professional division dropped 9% in the year, to 32.7 million pounds. The decline was attributed to an expected drop in rights and professional services revenue. Digital sales rose 24% in the division last year and accounted for 16% of unit revenue, up from 12% in fiscal 2015. Bloomsbury added that it believes its more significant presence in the academic & professional segment will accelerate the growth of digital sales.
Bloomsbury has also de-emphasized sales by region in recent years. In fiscal 2016 revenue from North America rose 19%, to about 29 million pounds.