Led by strong gains in its children’s publishing division, revenue at Bloomsbury rose 15% in the fiscal year ended February 28, over fiscal 2016. Sales were £142.6 million, up from £123.7 million a year ago. Profits did, however, slip, dropping to £9.4 million from £10.3 million last year.
Sales in the children’s unit jumped 48%, led by sales of the Harry Potter series, which grew 88% in the year. Sales of Sarah J. Maas (author of A Court of Thorns and Roses series) grew by 87% globally, and Neil Gaiman reached #1 in The Sunday Times fiction bestseller list with Norse Mythology. Sales in the adult division rose 3% in the year. Altogether, revenue in the consumer group rose 28%, to £85.4 million.
In the non-consumer group (academic & professional, special interest and content services), revenue dipped to £57.2 million, down from £57.3 million a year ago.
North America accounted for £40.5 million of all Bloomsbury revenue in fiscal 2017, up from of £34.8 million in 2016. Bloomsbury also noted that it took a £900,000 charge for the restructuring of its New York office. The restructuring saw the departure George Gibson, publishing director for the adult group, as well as a number of other executives. (In the restructuring, Cindy Loh was named to the newly created role of v-p and publishing director of consumer publishing.)
Bloomsbury CEO Nigel Newton called fiscal 2017 a “very strong year,” and said the company is well positioned for the new year. Among other events in the coming year, the publisher is launching three new digital lines (The Bloomsbury Design Library, The Bloomsbury Food Library and Bloomsbury Cultural History, and will also mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone with a new edition and a series of events.