Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bloomsbury profits fall for 2008

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, the British publisher of the Harry Potter series, posted better than expected full year earnings on March 31 but warned that the outlook remained very tough, an AP report said.

Bloomsbury reported net profit of $11.2 million for the year to December 31 compared to 11.8 million pounds the previous year, when earnings were boosted by the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the last volume of JK Rowling's series.

Revenue for 2008, when the company published Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard and Khalid Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns, was down 33 per cent to 99.95 million pounds, down from 150.21 million pounds.

Chief Executive Nigel Newton said the business "continued to prosper even in the harshest economic conditions." Newton said that the company has an "excellent pipeline" of new titles due for release over the coming months across all genres.

"However, there are also a number of risks and areas of caution which have been heightened by the recession," he said. "Visibility has been decreased by the uncertainty of the global market place, though books have fared better than most."

Revenue from books for adults rose 17 per cent to 42.03 million pounds, while reference revenue increased 27 per cent to 19.59 million pounds. But the biggest impact was in the children's division, where sales dropped 158 per cent to 38.33 million pounds.

Bloomsbury shares were almost 10 per cent lower at 115 pence in midmorning trade on the London Stock Exchange.

In India, Bloomsbury has a distribution arrangement with Penguin.

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