Bloomsbury Publishing raises profit forecast as book sales rise

Bloomsbury Publishing shares jump 11% on improved earnings forecast as lockdown-hit adults and children drive book sales

  • Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury Publishing has raised its earnings outlook
  • The group has seen a surge in sales of adult and children’s books over the past year
  • The group saw its share price jump sharply at the start of the session

Bloomsbury Publishing expects its annual profit and revenue to beat market expectations, driven by strong literature sales to readers of all age groups.

The upbeat outlook follows record half-year earnings bolstered by the lockdown reading during pandemic restrictions and the early printing of titles ahead of Christmas to manage supply issues.

Shares of publisher Harry Potter jumped this morning and are currently up 11.82% or 39.00p to 369.00p.

Expectations: Bloomsbury Publishing expects its annual profit and revenue to beat market expectations

The stock gained around 25% last year and has more than doubled since its 2020 lows at the start of the pandemic.

After initially warning that the closures could hurt book sales, the group has actually benefited from the popularity of adult and children’s books everywhere.

The company highlighted the momentum of its digital resources arm, which offers online research and learning tools for students, teachers and librarians. He said he had achieved his goal of reaching £5m in annual divisional profit.

“Achieving this key long-term strategic goal of creating high margin and quality revenue demonstrates the strength and successful execution of our digital strategy,” he said in a statement.

“Revenues are expected to be comfortably ahead and earnings significantly above market expectations for the year ending February 28, 2022,” it said in a statement.

Current market expectations call for revenue of £197.1m and pre-tax profit of £20.1m, Bloomsbury said.

Peel Hunt analysts said: “Supply chain issues have seen retailer purchases significantly ahead of normal.” Obviously, Christmas sales have been good.

The group, which also published “Paradise” by Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah, winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature, will publish its preliminary results in May.