Oxford-based military history publisher Osprey reported that sales last year rose 16%, to £6.5 million, while operating profit before interest and tax jumped 132% to £220,000. Managing director Rebecca Smart attributed the results to the ongoing strength of the niche military history market, and Osprey’s ability to nurture a sense of community within its customer base. In the U.S, revenue rose 4% overall, led by a 15% increase in sales through trade retailers.

The publisher is off to a strong start in 2009 despite the recession in most of its major markets. In addition to higher sales in the quarter, Osprey said it has already met its full year licensed income budget for 2009 and is expecting growth of 50% over 2008, reflecting the strong appetite for specialist content across a range of territories.