Bloomsbury E-Book Sales Surge, Comprise 10% of Total in First Half

[Statement]

From the longer financial statement: Digital sales mainly comprise ebook sales, which are up by 89% year on year to £4.5 million (2011: £2.4 million). Ebook sales now represent 10% of total Group continuing turnover (2011: 6%) and 15% of the Adult division continuing turnover (2011: 9%).

Unaudited Interim Results for the six months ended 31 August 2012

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc today announces six month results for the period ended 31 August 2012.

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Financial Highlights

Turnover £43.5 million (2011: £42.4 million) +2%
Profit before taxation and highlighted items* £2.1 million (2011: £3.3 million) -37%
Profit before taxation £0.9 million (2011: £1.5 million)
Interim dividend 0.94 pence per share (2011: 0.89 pence) +6%
Basic earnings per share before highlighted items* 2.20 pence (2011: 3.27 pence)
Basic earnings per share of 0.87 pence (2011: 1.45 pence)

Note: All the above highlights are stated on a Continuing basis ie they exclude the results of our German subsidiary, Bloomsbury Verlag, which was treated as discontinued in our accounts last year, following its sale in February 2012.
Operating highlights

Further growth in ebook sales
ebook sales in the six months to 31 August 2012 increased by 89% to £4.5 million (2011: £2.4m)
New e-reader devices expected to have a positive impact on Q4 ebook sales
Strategic progress in Academic & Professional division
Academic division now represents 28% of Group continuing sales (2011: 20%)
Acquisition of Fairchild Books for $6.1 million (£3.8 million)
Acquisition of Applied Visual Arts Publishing for CHF 2.6 million (£1.7 million)
Launch of The Churchill Archive, www.churchillarchive.com, with strong demand
Major prize wins and shortlists include:
Winner Orange Prize for Fiction 2012
Winner International IMPAC Dublin Award 2012
2 shortlists for Man Booker Prize 2012
Shortlist for Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2012
Strong list for the second half
Hugh’s Three Good Things – Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
How to Bake – Paul Hollywood
Hogwarts Library Boxed Set – J. K. Rowling
Umbrella – Will Self
The first ever Wisden India Cricketers Almanac 2012

* Highlighted items comprise amortisation of intangible assets, acquisition costs, restructuring, relocation costs and Bloomsbury India set up costs.

Commenting on the results, Nigel Newton, Chief Executive, said:

“The Group continues to make good progress. We have acquired two new businesses further boosting our presence in the academic market, particularly in the USA, and have launched our own sales and publishing operation in India, a market which has the potential to become one of the largest English language book markets in the world.

Higher ebook sales and academic turnover continue to increase the weighting of our sales to the second half. In addition we have a strong second half list, including potential best sellers, and are targeting a significant number of rights and services contracts. We remain well positioned for the future and results continue to show a positive trend over the longer term.”

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