Quarto Books shares rise 27 per cent after mystery takeover approach

 
Alys Key
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The group reported a loss for the first half of the year (Source: Getty)

Shares in book publisher Quarto leapt more than 27 per cent this morning after the company announced it was in talks about a potential takeover bid from a mystery buyer.

The London-listed company said it had received an initial approach which "the board considers to be attractive and reflective of the inherent value of the business as a global publishing platform".

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Shares were up 27.2 per cent to 177.5p, regaining some of the ground lost in July. The stock price plummeted following the announcement that full-year guidance had been set too high.

The group employs more than 400 people across the US, UK and Hong Kong, and is based in the US.

The group also reported its half-year results today.

Group revenue was down from $57.9m to $50.2m (£38.5m). Pre-tax loss deepened to $9.2m (£7m), compared to $1.9m last year.

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Quarto attributed the performance to a softer retail environment, saying that its adult publishing imprints had been most strongly hit by the weaker trading environment.

"It has been a transitional period with the completion of the disposals of our non-core businesses while facing a challenging trading background in our key domestic markets," said chief executive Marcus Leaver.

"We have seen lower initial orders and reprints from some large customers. In particular, most of our adult imprints have performed below our expectations."

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