Bloomsbury UK achieves record figures for the first half of 2022
Bloomsbury UK, the publisher of Harry Potter, has just reported its highest ever first half sales and profits. The stellar figures prove the old adage that books do well in a recession or a cost of living crisis. With many households in UK struggling to pay rising energy bills, books suddenly seem like good value. People hold off buying a new sofa or taking an expensive holiday, but will happily send £20 on a book because, by comparison, it seems relatively cheap.
Bloomsbury CEO Nigel Newton said: “Bloomsbury achieved very strong results in the first half with year-on-year revenue growth of 22% to £122.9 million and profit growth of 23% to £15.9 million. These are our highest ever first half sales and profits. These results demonstrate the strength and resilience of our strategy of publishing for both the consumer and academic markets, our growth of digital revenues and our global diversification.
“Throughout this cost of living crisis, books remain an affordable treat. Reading offers a form of escapism and an ideal – and inexpensive – therapy for dealing with the stresses and strains of day-to-day life.
“The success of Bloomsbury Digital Resources accelerated, with revenue growth of 69% driven by organic and acquired assets. This drove the Non-Consumer division’s revenue growth of 24% and a 54% increase in profit before tax and highlighted items1 to £7.1 million. Resilient demand saw the Consumer division revenue grow by 21%, achieving a 6% increase in profit before tax and highlighted items1 to £8.9 million.”
Newton added that the publisher’s financial position is strong, with net cash of £41.5 million. This gives the company significant opportunities for further acquisitions and investment in organic growth.
Newton concluded: “In recognition of our performance and in line with our dividend policy, we are announcing a 5% increase in our interim dividend to 1.41 pence per share.
The strong first half performance means that we are confident of achieving the Board’s expectations for the year ending 28 February 2023. The strength and resilience of Bloomsbury’s strategy and financial position means the Board is confident in its ability to achieve continued success. Bloomsbury plans to invest in further acquisitions and organic growth.”