Source - Alliance News

Shares in Bloomsbury Publishing PLC rose on Wednesday, after the company hailed an ‘exceptionally strong’ period of trading on surging demand for fantasy titles.

Shares in Bloomsbury were up 7.1% at 526.30 pence each in London on Wednesday morning.

The London-base publishing house said it anticipates revenue and pretax profit before ‘highlighted items’ for the financial year to be ‘significantly ahead’ of market expectations.

Consensus forecasts for the year ending February 29 predict revenue of £291.4 million and pretax profit of £37.2 million. Achieving that would take Bloomsbury’s revenue 10% ahead of the £264.1 million booked the year prior, and profit 20% higher than £31.1 million.

Bloomsbury credits the successful year of trading so far to an increasing global interest in fantasy novels, and the popularity of one of its authors, Sarah J Maas.

In January, Maas published ‘House of Flame and Shadow’, part of her Crescent City Series, which became a number one bestseller in the US, UK and Australia.

Bloomsbury said that the publication of this latest novel has also driven a demand for her 15-book back catalogue. Bloomsbury signed Maas in 2010, and the company has a further six titles under contract with the American author.

The company said it would be investing further in writing from the fantasy genre, which the publishing data provider Nielsen Bookscan said has grown by 54% over the last five years. Bloomsbury’s other fantasy and sci-fi authors include Samantha Shannon, Susan Clarke, Alan Moore, and Cixin Liu.

Bloomsbury has also appointed Sabrina McCarthy as president of its US division, who will begin in April.

Chief Executive Officer Nigel Newton said: ‘I am overjoyed to report an exceptionally strong period of trading, principally driven by the increasing demand for fantasy fiction. Sarah J Maas is a publishing phenomenon and we are very fortunate to have signed her up with her first book 13 years ago. Her books have a huge audience which continues to grow backed by major Bloomsbury promotional campaigns, driving strong word of mouth recommendation, particularly through TikTok and Instagram channels.’

Bloomsbury reports annual results on May 23.

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