Publishing group Bloomsbury raked in record sales last year as Brits buried their heads in books and “cut back on more expensive forms of diversion” through the cost of living squeeze, the firm revealed today.
In its full year results this morning, the London-listed Harry Potter publisher said sales were up 15 per cent to £264.1m for the year to the end of February and profit up 16 per cent to £31.1m.
Over the past two years the firm has bumped up sales 43 per cent and profits 62 per cent.
“In challenging economic times, readers are turning to books as affordable as they cut back on more expensive forms of diversion,” said chief Nigel Newson
“Our long-term strategy to invest in digital content, which has delivered strong growth and cash, which enables future strategic investment in both our academic and consumer markets and potential acquisitions – the flywheel of Bloomsbury.”
The firm’s consumer revenue grew of 12 per cent to £166.7m while its non-consumer unit drove a 43 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to £13.1m.
Shareholders are now set for a bumper payday woth bosses hiking the annual payout by 10 per cent to to 10.34p per share.
The firm added that trading for the year was in line with expectation so far and the board is “confident in its ability to achieve continued long-term success” with plans to invest for further acquisitions and organic growth” in the works.