Bloomsbury Unaudited Preliminary Results for the year ended 29 February 2020

Commenting on the results, Nigel Newton, Chief Executive, said: “I am pleased to report a year of further progress at Bloomsbury resulting in 9% growth in profit before tax and highlighted items. Our Non-Consumer division delivered an excellent result with profit before tax and highlighted items up by 85% to £6.7 million, including outstanding revenue growth of 32% from Bloomsbury Digital Resources, which moved into profit this year, and the Adult Consumer division achieved 77% growth in profit before tax and highlighted items. These performances demonstrate the underlying strength and resilience of our diversified, international strategy.

Over the past five years, the successful execution of this strategy has delivered Company revenue growth of 32% and profit before tax and highlighted items growth of 21%, with digital revenue as a proportion of total revenue increasing from 10% to 15%.

Since the year end, the coronavirus pandemic has led to significant disruption across all our key markets. The impact may be substantial. Orders for print books, which comprised 79% of the Company’s revenue for the year ended 29 February 2020, are being affected in all our markets. Our UK, US and Australia warehouses remain open and continue supply to customers. Our strategy of expanding and leveraging our digital rights and products means that we are well placed to benefit from increased demand for our digital resources, audio and e-books.

There is no immediate certainty around the severity and duration of the impact on our business and therefore the Board is unable to provide guidance for the year ending 28 February 2021 at this time.

In response to the pandemic, the Board has taken swift measures to strengthen Bloomsbury’s balance sheet and increase liquidity to ensure we have sufficient working capital to weather the impact of coronavirus and avoid damaging our business in the long-term.

I would like to thank our staff, authors, illustrators and suppliers for their resilience and determination over a challenging period. Their ability to adapt to the rapidly changing conditions, together with the strength of our strategy supported by our solid financial position, gives me confidence that Bloomsbury will emerge stronger from this crisis.”

Financial Highlights
Profit before taxation and highlighted items grew by 9% to £15.7 million, up from £14.4 million in 2018/19
*Revenues increased to £162.8 million (2018/19: £162.7 million) despite the impact of coronavirus on our Chinese sales in January and February
*Profit before taxation grew by 10% to £13.2 million (2018/19: £12.0 million)
Diluted earnings per share, excluding highlighted items, grew by 12% to 16.77p (2018/19: 14.97p)
*Diluted earnings per share grew by 13% to 13.84p (2018/19: 12.25p)
*Net cash of £31.3 million at 29 February 2020, up 14% (2018: £27.6 million)
*Cash conversion of 96% (2018/19: 128%), excluding the acquisition of the rights of Oberon Books Ltd (“Oberon”)
*Subject to shareholder approval, proposed bonus issue, in lieu of, and with a value equivalent to, proposed final dividend of 6.89p per share
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