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Bloomsbury to exceed profit guidance

The world of literature is enjoying a surge in lockdown
Bloomsbury to exceed profit guidance
  • Strong demand for books has sent Bloomsbury Publishing sales storming upwards
  • Shares leapt in early trading
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Digital companies are not the only beneficiaries of the UK’s prolonged lockdown. According to data group Neilson, a surge in reading has led to the volume of print books sold in the UK during 2020 growing by 5 per cent compared with 2019.

Bloomsbury Publishing (BMY) has been a clear beneficiary of this trend. The publisher now expects revenue and profit to be well-ahead of market expectations for the year to 28 February, thanks to strong consumer demand during the second half. Consensus expectations for revenue and adjusted pre-tax profit had stood at £162m and £12.1m, respectively. The shares were up by as much as 16 per cent during early trading in response to the announcement.

Standout bestsellers in the second- half included the hastily-written biography of new American president, Joe Biden - social media might be struggling to sell controversy, but politics remains popular in the world of books. Bloomsbury continued to rake in strong sales from the ever-popular Harry Potter series, 23 years after its initial publication. Rumours of an upcoming Harry Potter television series aren’t likely to do the brand’s sales any harm.