Total revenue at Bloomsbury Publishing grew 4%, to £75.3 million, in the six months ended August, 31, over the comparable period in 2017. Pretax profits rose 13%, to £2.9 million. That said, including some one-time charges, earnings slipped to £1.6 million, from £1.7 million in the first half of fiscal 2018.
The revenue increase was driven by a 22% gain in Bloomsbury’s adult trade group, where sales were almost £16 million. Among the adult group hits in the period were the paperback edition of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie, Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini, and the film tie-in edition of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
Sales in the children division dipped 2% in the first half of the year, to £31.1 million. Sales of Harry Potter titles increased 5% but, excluding that result, sales in the group were down 9%. The drop was due, in part, to the timing of books by popular author Sarah J. Maas, who released two fewer titles in the most period compared last year, Bloomsbury said.
In the academic and professional unit, sales were up 8% over the first half of fiscal 2018.
During the period, Bloomsbury completed its purchase of I.B Tauris, and the company is expected to contribute £3.5 million in revenue for the full fiscal year, as well as £300,000 in profits.
Bloomsbury had little to say about its U.S. business, except to note that sales in the first half rose 3% over the first six months of fiscal 2018.