Bloomsbury Publishing has raised its profit guidance for the third time this year after readers devoured books on everything from baking to escapism during the pandemic.
Results from the UK company on Wednesday showed profits before tax in the year ending in February jumped nearly a third to £17.3m and revenues grew 14 per cent to £185.1m. Bloomsbury said it expected profits in the next financial year to be “comfortably” ahead of expectations.
The publisher behind the Harry Potter books raised its final dividend 10 per cent to 7.58p a share, on top of a special dividend of 9.78p a share to compensate shareholders for a cancelled payout last year.
“The popularity of reading has been a ray of sunshine in an otherwise very dark year,” said Nigel Newton, chief executive. He said the company’s 14 per cent rise in sales compared with an industry average growth of 2 per cent.
Bloomsbury shares rose more than 8 per cent in early Wednesday trading in London. Shares in the publisher have risen 53 per cent over the past 12 months.