Bloomsbury Publishing is issuing its Interim Management Statement for the period from 1 March 2012 to date.
The Group is trading in line with management’s expectations. In the three months ended 31 May 2012, Bloomsbury’s global ebook sales were up 70% year on year, with this variance significantly exceeding the effect of the 2% fall in print sales for the same period. The Association of American Publishers has reported that ebook sales in the US, for the first calendar quarter of 2012, have exceeded hardback sales and that overall there continued to be an increase in total sales across all formats for adult books. The rate of growth in ebook sales for young adult and children’s books in the US now exceeds that for Adult.
Major best sellers in the period were Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Everyday!, Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2012, Double Cross by Ben MacIntyre, Heston at Home by Heston Blumenthal and Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward.
Our exceptional track record of winning major prizes continues apace. In May Madeleine Miller won The Orange Prize with The Song of Achilles; in June Jon McGregor won the IMPAC Dublin Award for his novel Even the Dogs; and Alastair Hignell won Rugby Book of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards for Higgy. Our titles currently shortlisted for prizes include Suzanne Joinson’s book A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar which is on the shortlist for the aNobii First Book Award and Ghosts by Daylight which is on the shortlist for the Biography Prize at the Spear’s Book Awards.
We have made significant progress in the period in growing academic and professional revenues and profits – one of our core strategic objectives – with the acquisition of two businesses.
On 2 April we announced our acquisition of Fairchild Books. The consideration of US $6,100,000 is being paid in cash in three equal annual installments, commencing at completion. For the year ended 31 December 2011, Fairchild Books generated net profit before tax of $706,000. The business, which is based in New York, is a market-leading publisher of textbooks and educational resources for students of fashion, merchandising, retailing and interior design. The integration of this business is progressing well.
On 2 July we announced the acquisition of Applied Visual Arts Publishing (“AVA”), creative publishers for the applied digital arts for CHF 2,578,930 (£1,730,000). The consideration is being paid in cash in three equal annual instalments, commencing at completion. For the year ended 31 December 2011, AVA generated turnover of £1,820,000.
The combination of these two acquisitions, with our existing Berg and Visual Arts lists, makes us the largest academic publisher in applied visual arts in the world.
In June, the Churchill Archive, http:/www.churchillarchive.com, was launched online following a two year digitisation process. This online subscription archive is a remarkable and comprehensive collection of Churchill’s writing of over 800,000 pages. We have already seen considerable interest in subscriptions from research centres, museums, universities and public libraries both in the UK and overseas.
At 30 June 2012 the Group had a strong balance sheet with net cash of £10.0 million.
Nigel Newton, Chief Executive of Bloomsbury commented:
“We have continued to make significant progress throughout the period in growing our Academic & Professional division. The acquisition of Fairchild Books in particular represents a highly complementary fit to our existing business in fashion publishing following our acquisition of Berg Publishers in 2008. Ebook sales continue to grow at a rapid rate and we are well placed to take advantage of this seismic shift in the book publishing industry. Despite the economic headwinds we are confident that we have the right strategy in place as well as a very strong list of authors for the coming year.”