Bloomsbury lifts dividend after e-book success

Shares of publishing house Bloomsbury Publishing went through the roof as investors cheered its dividend hike following a surge in e-book sales.

Shares of publishing house Bloomsbury Publishing went through the roof as investors cheered its dividend hike following a surge in e-book sales.

The London based firm said continuing pre-tax profit rose 16% to £9.8m for the year ended February 28th 2013 as turnover increased 1% to £98.5m.

These figures excludes Bloomsbury's former German subsidiary, Bloomsbury Verlag, which was sold in February 2012.

Bloomsbury said e-book sales increased by 61% to £9.1m after a robust performance from cookery books such as Paul Hollywood's How to Bake and Bread, Russell Norman's Polpo, as well as books from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Heston Blumenthal and Raymond Blanc.

The total dividend has been increased 5.8% to 5.50p per share following the e-book performance.

Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Nigel Newton said: "Bloomsbury's core attributes of entrepreneurship, innovation, publicity flair and tight control of costs have led to the delivery of One Global Bloomsbury, and the future performance we have now set the stage for as we enjoy the synergies and sales advantages of having delivered a unified worldwide publishing group."

"In our strategy for growth we are targeting 50% of profit to be digital within five years, with Bloomsbury being the number one applied visual arts and independent humanities and social science publisher in Europe."

"Over that time we aim to be the number one publisher of choice in cookery, sport and natural history, with an Information division which has a global base delivering increasing revenues from digital knowledge hubs," Newton said.

Looking ahead the publisher said it has a very strong publishing programme for 2013/14 including And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon and the first book from its new MasterChef venture with Shine TV.

CJ

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