skip_previous play_arrow skip_next
00:00 00:00
  • cover play_arrow

    Rother Radio (128k) Love Local, Love Music!

  • cover play_arrow

    Rother Radio (64K) Love Local, Love Music!

  • cover play_arrow

    Hit Music Radio (128K) More Music Variety!

  • cover play_arrow

    Hit Music Radio (64K) The Best Variety of Hits!

Business News

Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury thrives during pandemic lockdowns


share close

Shares in Bloomsbury Publishing have climbed more than 10% after the Harry Potter publisher reported strong book sales during the coronavirus lockdowns.

The UK-based company said sales were up 14% to £185.1m in the year to 28 February, while profit before tax was up 22% to $19.2m.

Chief executive Nigel Newton said: “The popularity of reading has been a ray of sunshine in an otherwise very dark year.”

The UK has been under various levels of lockdown since March last year in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus.

At the height of the pandemic, people were ordered to stay home, with many turning to activities such as reading books to while away the lockdown days.

Bloomsbury said books on themes such as humanity, social inclusion, escapism, fantasy, cookery and baking were especially popular with readers.

Even the Harry Potter books – more than 20 years after the franchise began – saw a 7% increase in sales, as children and adults swapped the grim reality of the pandemic for tales of teenage wizardry.

More on Harry Potter

Mr Newton told Reuters: “I think that it is the (reading) habit itself which may have become permanent as people have rediscovered the role of books in their lives.

“It is across the board, from the inspiration for recipes to the escapism, which great novels give, to books about exercise and meditation (which) have become relevant to people.

“As the pandemic recedes, we will never return to exactly the world we had before.”

Just after 3pm, shares were up 13.5% on news that the company’s final dividend would increase 10% and a special dividend was being proposed of 9.78p per share.

Mr Newton said: “The board greatly appreciate the support of our shareholders during such unprecedented circumstances last year.”

He added that Bloomsbury’s revenue is expected to be ahead and profit to be comfortably ahead of market expectations for the year ending 28 February 2022.

Thanking his team, he said: “Our ability to adapt to the rapidly changing conditions, together with the strength of our strategy supported by our strong financial position, has enabled Bloomsbury to emerge even stronger from this crisis and deliver this excellent performance.”

AJ Bell analyst Danni Hewson said: “Bloomsbury faced a painful transition following its mid-noughties peak at the height of Pottermania but it is no longer a one-hit wonder with a diverse list of bestsellers in its portfolio.”

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News

Previous post

Entertainment News

Filming wraps on latest Thor film as Hemsworth shares behind the scenes snap

Filming has wrapped on the latest Thor film in Australia, the movie's star Chris Hemsworth has revealed.Hemsworth has been filming the new instalment in the Marvel franchise Down Under and stars as the God of Thunder himself Thor. Telling fans the news on social media, he posed for a blue steel-esque photo on set next to director Taika Waititi - who also plays fan favourite Korg, a softly-spoken Kiwi rock […]