Bloomsbury Publishing posts record H1 performance, shares rise

Bloomsbury Publishing shares (LON: BMY) surged over 15% on Tuesday after the group posted a record first-half earnings performance.

Pre-tax profit grew by £2.1m to £2.7m, whilst revenue increased by 17% to £78.3m from £71.3m the year before thanks to a surge in demand for online book sales and e-book revenues.

Stand-out bestsellers during the period included Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race, Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood, White Rage, Humankind and Such A Fun Age.

In light of the strong financial position, Bloomsbury Publishing has said it is resuming an interim dividend of 1.28 pence per share.

“We have continued to trade well during the first six weeks of the second half. In previous years, our revenue and earnings have been weighted towards the second half, with sales of trade titles rising for Christmas and sales of academic titles being strongest at the beginning of the academic year in the Autumn,” said the publisher in a statement.

Nigel Newton, the chief executive, said: “Bloomsbury experienced excellent trading in the first half with year-on-year profit growth of 60% to £4.0 million. This has delivered our highest first-half earnings since 2008 and exceeded the board’s expectations.”

“I would like to thank our staff, authors, illustrators, distributors and suppliers for their resilience, initiative and determination. They continue to be motivated, adaptable and effective, which is demonstrated by the strength of our first-half performance. This, together with the strength of our publishing strategy supported by our solid financial position, gives me confidence in Bloomsbury’s future performance,” he added.

Bloomsbury Publishing shares (LON: BMY) are trading +14.29% at 240,00 (1040GMT).