Sales and earnings both rose by double digits at Bloomsbury Publishing in the fiscal year ended February 28. The U.K.-based publisher said revenue was £161.5 million last year, a 13% increase over fiscal 2017, while pre-tax profits rose 10%, to £13.2 million.
Bloomsbury attributed the financial gains to a strong performance by its consumer division where revenue increased 20%, to £102.2 million due primarily to strong gains in the group’s children’s and cooking units. In the children’s unit, revenue increased 24% to £69.2 million as sales of the Harry Potter series in the year grew by 31%. (Excluding Potter, children’s sales were up 14%).
Adult revenue increased 12% over fiscal 2017, to £33.1 million. A highlight of the year was the sales performance of Tom Kerridge’s Lose Weight for Good, Bloomsbury said.
In the non-consumer division, revenue grew 4% to £59.3 million.
Bolstered by the strong fiscal 2018 performance, the recent purchase of academic publisher IB Tauris and a strong fall lineup, Bloomsbury predicted that the current fiscal year with see stronger growth than it had previously anticipated.
It is also rolling out a “Bigger Bloomsbury” initiative for the current year. Among its seven goals, Bloomsbury said, is “accelerating the growth of Bloomsbury’s sales in the USA, Australia and India.” In fiscal 2018, sales to the North American market grew 11.5%, to £42.7 million
In an intriguing footnote, Bloomsbury reported that one unnamed company accounted for £39.7 million of its sales last year, or almost 25% of revenue.
Along with releasing its financial; results for the last year, Bloomsbury announced industry veteran Richard Charkin, who has been with the company for 11 years, will step down from the board at the end of May. He will continue as a consultant on a number of strategic projects including Bloomsbury China which he initiated.