Led by a 33% gain in its children’s group, Bloomsbury reported a 15% increase in total revenue for the six-month period ended August 31. Sales were £72.1 million, compared to £62.7 million in the first six months of last year. Operating profit was £1.7 million, up from £53,000.
In Bloomsbury's consumer group, where the strong gains posted by the children’s division led to 20% jump in sales to £44.7 million. Bloomsbury pointed to a 40% increase in sales of Harry Potter titles for the improvement in the children's group. The publisher said the Harry Potter Box Set and the new editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, sold particularly well.
Meanwhile, sales of adult titles slipped to £13.0 million, from £13.4 million a year ago. The drop was blamed on flat print book sales and a 10% decline in e-book sales.
Bloomsbury said its U.S. adult list “performed well,” led by Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones and White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson.
Revenue in the publisher’s non-consumer group rose 8%, to £27.4 million.
Earlier this month, Bloomsbury announced the creation of Bloomsbury China. The unit will, the publisher said, release English-language books “about China and for China, by Chinese, Western and other writers.” Bloomsbury China will launch in February 2018 with a collection of work by one of China's best known playwrights, The Complete Dramatic Works of Tang Xianzu.
Bloomsbury said business continues to perform along expectations, and that the second half of the year will see the release of a number of new Harry Potter titles, including illustrated editions of Prisoner of Azkaban and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.