Bloomsbury Publishing plc – Preliminary Results

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (LSE: BMY), the leading independent publisher, today announces audited results for the year ended 28 February 2023.

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

“We are delighted to have achieved these record results with sales up 15% to £264.1 million and profit up 16% to £31.1 million. Compared to two years ago, sales are up 43% and profits up 62%. Our growth outperformed the industry which was up 4%1. These results demonstrate the strength of our strategy to publish for both the consumer and the academic markets, unusual in our industry, and to grow digital revenues while expanding globally.

In challenging economic times, readers are turning to books as affordable as they cut back on more expensive forms of diversion.

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. 

Bloomsbury Digital Resources (“BDR”) continues to deliver high margin, quality, repeatable revenues, with sales growth of 41% driven by organic and acquired assets. This drove the Non-Consumer division’s revenue growth of 19% and a 43% increase in profit before tax and highlighted items2 to £13.1 million. Resilient demand for our books saw the Consumer division revenue grow by 12%, achieving a 2% increase in profit before tax and highlighted items2 to £18.1 million.

We have signed a further four book contract with Sarah J. Maas on top of the three books already under contract, as announced in March. Also, in April, HBO Max announced a new Harry Potter television series, over a decade, with each season dedicated to one of the seven books. A Bollywood streaming version of William Dalrymple’s The Anarchy is being planned and The Three-Body Problem, the bestselling trilogy by Cixin Liu, is in production at Netflix.

In recognition of our strong performance and in line with our progressive dividend policy, the Board proposes a 10% increase in our final dividend to 10.34 pence per share.

Trading for 2023/24 has started in line with the Board’s expectations and the Board is confident in its ability to achieve continued long-term success. Bloomsbury plans to invest in further acquisitions and organic growth.”


The Board considers current consensus market expectation for the year ending 29 February 2024 to be revenue of £272.1 million and profit before taxation and highlighted items of £32.2 million.

Financial Highlights 

 2022/232021/222020/21Growth 2022/23 vs 2021/22Growth 2022/23 vs 2020/21
Organic revenue3£231.6m£212.7m£185.1m9%25%
Profit before taxation and highlighted items2£31.1m£26.7m£19.2m16%62%
Profit before taxation£25.4m£22.2m£17.3m15%46%
Adjusted diluted earnings per share30.56p25.94p18.68p18%64%
Diluted earnings per share24.54p20.33p16.71p21%47%
Net cash£51.5m£41.2m£54.5m25%(5)%
Final dividend per share10.34p9.40p7.58p10%36%

Operational Highlights

Non-Consumer Division

·         Non-Consumer revenue growth of 19% to £97.4 million (2021/22: £81.9 million). Organic revenue growth was 3%

·         Non-Consumer profit before taxation and highlighted items2 increased by 43% to £13.1 million (2021/22: £9.1 million)

·         Academic & Professional revenue growth of 28% to £75.7 million (2021/22: £59.3 million) and profit before taxation and highlighted items2 up 37% to £12.4 million (2021/22: £9.1 million), with prior year acquisitions contributing £21.5 million revenue (2021/22: £8.4 million)

·         Bloomsbury Digital Resources (“BDR”) revenue growth of 41% to £26.2 million (2021/22: £18.6 million) driven by strong demand for existing BDR products and growth from the acquisition of ABC-CLIO. Organic revenue growth was 18%

·         New BDR target is to achieve further 40% organic revenue growth over the five years to 2027/28, to reach turnover of approximately £37 million

Consumer Division

·         Consumer revenue growth of 12% to £166.7 million (2021/22: £148.2 million). Organic revenue growth was 12%, with the prior year acquisition contributing £11.0 million revenue (2021/22: £9.0 million) to Adult Trade

·         Consumer profit before taxation and highlighted items2 up 2% to £18.1 million (2020/21: £17.8 million)

·         Adult Trade revenue up 5% to £57.8 million (2021/22: £55.2 million) and profit before taxation and highlighted items2 of £1.0 million (2021/22: £2.0 million)

·         Children’s Trade revenue growth of 17% to £108.9 million (2021/22: £93.0 million) and profit before taxation and highlighted items2 up 9% to £17.2 million (2021/22: £15.8 million)

·        Sales growth of Sarah J. Maas’ titles of 51%; Harry Potter sales were strong 26 years after it was first published


1 Publishers Association: 2022 UK market up 4% year-on-year.

2 Highlighted items comprise amortisation of acquired intangible assets and legal and other professional costs relating to ongoing and completed acquisitions and restructuring costs.

Organic revenue for the year is defined as total revenue less revenue attributable to the acquisitions of Head of Zeus (“HoZ”), Red Globe Press (“RGP”) and ABC-CLIO LLC (“ABC-CLIO”), completed during 2021/22.