Source - LSE Regulatory
RNS Number : 0790B
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
31 May 2023
 

BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING PLC  

("Bloomsbury" or "the Company")

 

Audited Preliminary Results for the year ended 28 February 2023

 

Record sales and profit ahead of recently upgraded expectations

Final dividend up 10%

 

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (LSE: BMY), the leading independent publisher, today announces audited results for the year ended 28 February 2023.

 

Commenting on the results, Nigel Newton, Chief Executive, said:

 

"We are delighted to have achieved these record results with sales up 15% to £264.1 million and profit up 16% to £31.1 million. Compared to two years ago, sales are up 43% and profits up 62%. Our growth outperformed the industry which was up 4%1. These results demonstrate the strength of our strategy to publish for both the consumer and the academic markets, unusual in our industry, and to grow digital revenues while expanding globally.

 

In challenging economic times, readers are turning to books as affordable as they cut back on more expensive forms of diversion.

 

Our long-term strategy to invest in digital content, which has delivered strong growth and cash, which enables future strategic investment in both our academic and consumer markets and potential acquisitions - the flywheel of Bloomsbury.

 

Bloomsbury Digital Resources ("BDR") continues to deliver high margin, quality, repeatable revenues, with sales growth of 41% driven by organic and acquired assets. This drove the Non-Consumer division's revenue growth of 19% and a 43% increase in profit before tax and highlighted items2 to £13.1 million. Resilient demand for our books saw the Consumer division revenue grow by 12%, achieving a 2% increase in profit before tax and highlighted items2 to £18.1 million.

 

We have signed a further four book contract with Sarah J. Maas on top of the three books already under contract, as announced in March. Also, in April, HBO Max announced a new Harry Potter television series, over a decade, with each season dedicated to one of the seven books. A Bollywood streaming version of William Dalrymple's The Anarchy is being planned and The Three-Body Problem, the bestselling trilogy by Cixin Liu, is in production at Netflix.

 

In recognition of our strong performance and in line with our progressive dividend policy, the Board proposes a 10% increase in our final dividend to 10.34 pence per share.

 

Trading for 2023/24 has started in line with the Board's expectations and the Board is confident in its ability to achieve continued long-term success. Bloomsbury plans to invest in further acquisitions and organic growth."

 

Note

The Board considers current consensus market expectation for the year ending 29 February 2024 to be revenue of £272.1 million and profit before taxation and highlighted items of £32.2 million.


 

Financial Highlights

 

 

2022/23

2021/22

2020/21

Growth 2022/23 vs 2021/22

Growth 2022/23 vs 2020/21

Revenue

£264.1m

£230.1m

£185.1m

15%

43%

Organic revenue3

£231.6m

£212.7m

£185.1m

9%

25%

Profit before taxation and highlighted items2

£31.1m

£26.7m

£19.2m

16%

62%

Profit before taxation

£25.4m

£22.2m

£17.3m

15%

46%

Adjusted diluted earnings per share

30.56p

25.94p

18.68p

18%

64%

Diluted earnings per share

24.54p

20.33p

16.71p

21%

47%

Net cash

£51.5m

£41.2m

£54.5m

25%

(5)%

Final dividend per share

10.34p

9.40p

7.58p

10%

36%

 

 

Operational Highlights

 

Non-Consumer Division

 

·    Non-Consumer revenue growth of 19% to £97.4 million (2021/22: £81.9 million). Organic revenue growth was 3%


·    Non-Consumer profit before taxation and highlighted items2 increased by 43% to £13.1 million (2021/22: £9.1 million)


·   Academic & Professional revenue growth of 28% to £75.7 million (2021/22: £59.3 million) and profit before taxation and highlighted items2 up 37% to £12.4 million (2021/22: £9.1 million), with prior year acquisitions contributing £21.5 million revenue (2021/22: £8.4 million)


·   Bloomsbury Digital Resources ("BDR") revenue growth of 41% to £26.2 million (2021/22: £18.6 million) driven by strong demand for existing BDR products and growth from the acquisition of ABC-CLIO. Organic revenue growth was 18%


·    New BDR target is to achieve further 40% organic revenue growth over the five years to 2027/28, to reach turnover of approximately £37 million

 

Consumer Division

·   Consumer revenue growth of 12% to £166.7 million (2021/22: £148.2 million). Organic revenue growth was 12%, with the prior year acquisition contributing £11.0 million revenue (2021/22: £9.0 million) to Adult Trade

·    Consumer profit before taxation and highlighted items2 up 2% to £18.1 million (2020/21: £17.8 million)

·  Adult Trade revenue up 5% to £57.8 million (2021/22: £55.2 million) and profit before taxation and highlighted items2 of £1.0 million (2021/22: £2.0 million)

·  Children's Trade revenue growth of 17% to £108.9 million (2021/22: £93.0 million) and profit before taxation and highlighted items2 up 9% to £17.2 million (2021/22: £15.8 million)

·   Sales growth of Sarah J. Maas' titles of 51%; Harry Potter sales were strong 26 years after it was first published

 

Notes

 

1 Publishers Association: 2022 UK market up 4% year-on-year.

 

2 Highlighted items comprise amortisation of acquired intangible assets and legal and other professional costs relating to ongoing and completed acquisitions and restructuring costs.

 

3 Organic revenue for the year is defined as total revenue less revenue attributable to the acquisitions of Head of Zeus ("HoZ"), Red Globe Press ("RGP") and ABC-CLIO LLC ("ABC-CLIO"), completed during 2021/22.

 

 

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc


Nigel Newton, Chief Executive

Penny Scott-Bayfield, Group Finance Director

nigel.newton@bloomsbury.com

penny.scott-bayfield@bloomsbury.com

 

Hudson Sandler

 

+44 (0) 20 7796 4133

Dan de Belder / Amelia Craddock / Emily Brooker

 

bloomsbury@hudsonsandler.com

 

 

Certain statements, statistics and projections in this announcement are or may be forward looking. By their nature, forward‑looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties or assumptions that may or may not occur and actual results or events may differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that any particular expectation will be met and reliance should not be placed on any forward-looking statement. Accordingly, forward-looking statements contained in this announcement regarding past trends or activities should not be taken as representation that such trends or activities will continue in the future. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are based on the knowledge and information available only at the date of this announcement's preparation.

 

The Company does not undertake any obligation to update or keep current the information contained in this announcement, including any forward‑looking statements, or to correct any inaccuracies which may become apparent and any opinions expressed in it are subject to change without notice.

 

References in this announcement to other reports or materials, such as a website address, have been provided to direct the reader to other sources of information on Bloomsbury Publishing Plc which may be of interest. Neither the content of Bloomsbury's website nor any website accessible by hyperlinks from Bloomsbury's website nor any additional materials contained or accessible thereon, are incorporated in, or form part of, this announcement.



Chief Executive's statement

 

Overview

 

Bloomsbury achieved its best ever performance in the year ended 28 February 2023, with revenue growth of 15% to £264.1 million (2021/22: £230.1 million) and a 16% increase in profit before taxation and highlighted items to £31.1 million (2021/22: £26.7 million). Profit before taxation increased by 15% to £25.4 million (2021/22: £22.2 million).

 

Growth in organic revenue was 9%, with the three strategic acquisitions completed during 2021/22, ABC-CLIO, RGP and HoZ, contributing revenue of £32.5 million (2021/22: £17.4 million).

 

The strength of demand for Bloomsbury titles and the excellent sales of our digital products, reflects our long-term growth strategy, the publishing judgement of our editors and the quality of our sales and marketing teams and infrastructure.

 

Our strategy of diversification, across channels and markets, continues successfully. Our international revenues have increased to 73% of total revenue - our highest ever. Our digital strategy ensures increasing publishing through digital channels, and we continue to expand our academic as well as consumer markets, most recently to the lucrative US schools market.

 

We continue to deliver success with the Bloomsbury Digital Resources ("BDR") growth strategy of building high margin, high quality, repeatable revenues from our market leading Academic and Professional IP. BDR achieved 41% year-on-year revenue growth, and an 18% increase in organic revenue. This highly scalable business has grown its sales from £4.7 million in 2017/18 to £26.2 million this year, through organic growth and strategic acquisitions. Our academic customer renewal rate remained above 90%.

 

Our strategy enables us to continue to deliver growth from the ongoing shift to digital learning, accelerating the breadth and depth of our excellent digital products and the quality of our platforms and infrastructure. In addition, we accelerated our growth by leveraging last year's acquisitions of ABC-CLIO and RGP, through global sales as well as cross-selling existing digital products to ABC-CLIO's US schools market. Given the momentum behind the BDR strategy, Bloomsbury is setting a new growth target of further 40% organic revenue growth over the five years to 2027/28, to reach approximately £37 million turnover. Further acquisitions would augment this growth. This new, ambitious, target reflects the opportunities, synergies and integration of our acquisitions, particularly ABC-CLIO.

 

Bloomsbury won the 2022 Master Investor Company of the Year award.

 

The highlighted items of £5.7 million (2021/22: £4.6 million) consist of the amortisation of acquired intangible assets of £5.2 million (2021/22: £2.8 million), one-off legal and other professional fees relating to acquisitions and restructuring costs of £0.5 million (2021/22: £1.8 million). The effective rate of tax for the year was 20% (2021/22: 24%). The adjusted effective rate of tax, excluding highlighted items, was 19% (2021/22: 19%). Diluted earnings per share, excluding highlighted items, grew 18% to 30.56 pence (2021/22: 25.94 pence).  Including highlighted items, profit before tax was £25.4 million (2021/22: £22.2 million) and diluted earnings per share grew 21% to 24.54 pence (2021/22: 20.33 pence).

We have increased our international revenues, in particular from the US, during the year. In 2022/23, changes in exchange rates, mainly the relative strength of the US dollar, increased revenues by £12.2 million and profit before taxation and highlighted items by £2.2 million.

 

Strategy

 

Bloomsbury's long-term growth strategy is aimed at continuing our success in investing in high-value intellectual property and building digital channels, increasing quality revenues and earnings. To achieve this, we are focused the following long-term strategic objectives:

 

·    Non-Consumer

 

Goal: Grow Bloomsbury's portfolio in Non-Consumer publishing.  Non-Consumer publishing is characterised by higher, more predictable margins, is less reliant on retailers and presents greater digital and global opportunities.  

 

Achieved 2022/23: delivered 19% growth in Non-Consumer revenue.

 

Goal: New BDR target is to achieve further 40% organic revenue growth over the five years to 2027/28, to reach approximately £37 million turnover.

 

Achieved 2022/23: Achieved 41% revenue growth, of which 18% was organic.

 

·    Consumer

 

Goal: Discover, nurture, champion and retain high-quality authors and illustrators, while looking at new ways to leverage existing title rights.

 

Achieved 2022/23: Delivered 12% growth in Consumer revenue. Bestsellers included A Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon, Stolen Focus by Johann Hari, Bake by Paul Hollywood, Tom Kerridge's Real Life Recipes and Trespasses by Louise Kennedy.

 

Goal: Grow our key authors through effective publishing across all formats alongside strategic sales and marketing.

 

Achieved 2022/23: 51% growth in sales of Sarah J. Maas title sales and seven new titles contracted.

 

Goal: As the originating publisher of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, ensure that new children discover and read it for pleasure every year.

 

Achieved 2022/23: Harry Potter title sales remain strong, 26 years after first publication. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was the 3rd bestselling children's book of the year on UK Nielsen Bookscan.

 

·    International Expansion

 

Goal: Expand international revenues. Continue our international growth and take advantage of the biggest academic market in the US.

 

Achieved 2022/23: Increased overseas revenues to 73% of Group revenue. US revenues increased to 48% of Group revenue.

 

·    Employee Experience and Engagement; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

 

Our success is driven by the expertise, passion and commitment of our employees, highlighting the importance of attracting, supporting and engaging our colleagues. We value diversity of thought, perspectives and experience in shaping our culture and strategy, driving our long-term success and informing the ways in which we fulfil our social purpose.

 

Goal: Be an attractive employer for individuals seeking a career in publishing, regardless of background or identity, adding cultural value to our business operations and performance.

 

Goal: Focus on initiatives to create an environment that promotes diversity, nurtures talent, stimulates creativity and collaboration, supports well-being and is inclusive and respectful of difference.

 

Goal: Implement Bloomsbury's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan ("DEIAP").

 

Achieved 2022/23:

 

All employees received a one-off £1,250 payment in February 2023, in addition to a permanent salary increase of £1,000 per annum from 1 October 2022, to help with the cost of living.

 

Shortlisted for the IPG Diversity and Inclusivity Award and the LBF Inclusivity in Publishing Award for the second year running.

 

Shortlisted for the Small Cap Diversity, Inclusion & Engagement award.

 

Our DEIAP set targets for Black and minority ethnic groups to represent 20% of new UK recruits and 35% of new US recruits by 2024. In 2022/23, Black and minority ethnic groups represented 31% of UK applications and 20% of UK offers made. 15% of UK employees are from ethnic minority groups (2021/22: 13%). In the US, Black and minority ethnic groups represented 40% of applications and 59% of offers made. 26% of our US employees are from ethnic minority groups (2021/22: 20%). 

 

Official partner of The Runnymede Trust's Lit in Colour initiative, supporting student access to books by writers of colour and from minority ethnic backgrounds, drawing on our world-leading drama list from Methuen Drama.

 

Ran a series of 'In Conversation' author interviews for over 700 schools, with live interviews with our authors Tanika Gupta, Benjamin Zephaniah and Khaled Hosseini.

 

Founding signatory of the Publishers Association's Inclusivity Action Plan, to promote equality, diversity and inclusion within the industry's workforce.

 

·    Sustainability

 

Goal: Maximise our use of sustainable resources while seeking to reduce carbon emissions in line with our science-based targets. We recognise our responsibility to conserve the Earth's resources and we are committed to monitoring and improving the environmental impact of our operations.

 

Achieved 2022/23:

 

Awarded the IPG Sustainability Award and winner of the inaugural London Book Fair Sustainability Initiative Award.

 

Reduction of 80% in Scope 1 and 2 emissions from base year of 2019/20.

 

Removed plastic shrink wrap from all Harry Potter paperback boxsets, piloted removing dust jackets and plastic finishes and introduced changes to backlist printing to reduce carbon emissions.

 

Completed the CDP Climate Change questionnaire, receiving the second highest score of B, demonstrating our coordinated response to climate change.

 

Completed our quantitative analysis of select climate-related risks and progressed our Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures ("TCFD") reporting.

 

Non-Consumer Division

 

The Non-Consumer division consists of Academic & Professional, including BDR, and Special Interest. Revenues in the division grew by 19% to £97.4 million (2021/22: £81.9 million). Profit before taxation and highlighted items for the Non-Consumer division increased by 43% to £13.1 million (2021/22: £9.1 million). Profit before taxation increased by 25% to £8.2 million (2021/22: £6.6 million). Organic revenue growth was 3% with ABC-CLIO and RGP, acquired in December 2021 and June 2021 respectively, contributing £21.5 million revenue (2021/22: £8.4 million).

 

Academic & Professional

 

Academic & Professional revenues increased by 28% to £75.7 million (2021/22: £59.3 million) and profit before taxation and highlighted items increased by 37% to £12.4 million (2021/22: £9.1 million). Profit before taxation increased by 15% to £7.8 million (2021/22: £6.7 million). This was driven by the strength of our BDR strategy, with a 41% increase in revenue from both excellent organic growth in our existing digital products and leveraging recent acquisitions. BDR organic growth was 18%.

Our BDR growth strategy is to build high margin, high quality, repeatable digital revenue from our market leading Academic and Professional IP. The acquisition of ABC-CLIO increased the depth and breadth of our portfolio of digital products. Through this, we accelerated growth through global sales as well as cross-selling existing digital products to both schools and academic institutions. We increased the number of academic institution customers by 20% and maintained our existing customer retention rate at over 90%. We continue to see significant opportunities for further growth in both the global academic institution and US school markets.

The Academic & Professional profit margin increased to 16% (2021/22: 15%), predominantly driven by BDR growth and improved sales mix. Our BDR success delivers high margin incremental revenue, with gross margin of over 70%, created from our IP which is also sold through print and ebooks.

Special Interest

Special Interest revenue was £21.7 million (2021/22: £22.6 million), and profit before taxation and highlighted items increased to £0.6 million (2021/22: break even). Bestsellers during the year included Wisden Cricketers Almanack, Reeds Nautical Almanac, Putin's Wars by Mark Galeotti and Osprey Games' Undaunted: Stalingrad and Stargrave.

 

Consumer Division

 

The Consumer division consists of Adult and Children's trade publishing. The Consumer division generated revenue growth of 12% to £166.7 million (2021/22: £148.2 million). Organic revenue growth was 12%. Profit before taxation and highlighted items increased by 2% to £18.1 million (2021/22: £17.8 million). Profit before taxation increased by 2% to £17.8 million (2021/22: £17.5 million). The strong performance was driven by the Children's divisions, across front and backlist titles, and includes £11.0 million revenue (2021/22: £9.0 million) from HoZ, completed in June 2021.

 

Bloomsbury's Consumer growth outperformed the rest of the UK market, in both print and digital formats; the Publishers Association reported Consumer growth of 2% for 2022.

 

Adult Trade

 

The Adult division achieved a 5% increase in revenue to £57.8 million (2021/22: £55.2 million) and profit before taxation and highlighted items of £1.0 million (2021/22: £2.0 million). Profit before taxation was £0.6 million (2021/22: £1.7 million). Revenue growth was driven by the strength of the backlist and includes £11.0 million (2021/22: £9.0 million) revenue from HoZ, completed in June 2021.

 

Sunday Times bestsellers in the year included Stolen Focus by Johann Hari, Bake by Paul Hollywood, Tom Kerridge's Outdoor Cooking and Real Life Recipes, Trespasses by Louise Kennedy, Illuminations by Alan Moore and A Visible Man by Edward Enninful. New York Times bestsellers in the year included Bake by Paul Hollywood and Dirtbag, Massachusetts by Isaac Fitzgerald.

 

Recognition for our authors continued with Louise Kennedy's Trespasses shortlisted for the Women's Prize 2023 and winning the British Book Awards 2023 Book of the Year - Debut Fiction, both Olivia Sadjic and Saba Sams being named as Granta's best young novelists, Tom Benn winning The Sunday Times Charlotte Aitken Young Writer of the Year for Oxblood, and Isaac Blood winning the National Book Critics Circle 2022 Award for Nonfiction for The Method.

 

Children's Trade

Children's revenue increased by 17% to £108.9 million (2021/22: £93.0 million). Profit before taxation and highlighted items increased by 9% to £17.2 million (2021/22: £15.8 million). Profit before taxation was £17.2 million (2021/22: £15.8 million). High demand for our strong titles continued the momentum from last year, with excellent sales of Sarah J. Maas' titles.

 

Sales of the Harry Potter titles were strong. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was the 3rd bestselling children's book of the year on UK Nielsen Bookscan, 26 years after it first began, showing the enduring appeal of this classic series.

 

Sarah J. Maas' sales grew by 51%, reflecting her latest bestselling frontlist title, Crescent City: House of Sky and Breath, published in February 2022, and strong backlist sales. House of Sky and Breath, House of Earth and Blood, A Court of Silver Flames and the Throne of Glass series were all New York Times bestsellers during the year. All 15 of Sarah J. Maas' titles have been published by Bloomsbury since her first novel, Throne of Glass, in 2012.

 

Revenues for the rest of the Children's division were also good. Other highlights in the Children's list included October, October, which won the Yoto Carnegie medal, Sunday Times bestsellers We're Going on a Sleigh Ride, We're Going on an Egg Hunt and Five Little Easter Bunnies, New York Times bestsellers This Wicked Fate by Kalynn Bayron, Ways to Make Sunshine by Renee Watson and Forging Silver into Stars and Defy the Dawn by Brigid Kemmerer.

 

Three Bloomsbury children's books were included in the BBC's global poll of the best 100 books of all time: two of the Harry Potter series and Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book.

 

Cash and Financing

 

Bloomsbury's cash generation was strong with cash at the year end of £51.5 million (2022: £41.2 million) and cash conversion of 107% (2021/22: 194%).

 

The Group has an unsecured revolving credit facility with Lloyds Bank Plc. The facility comprises a committed revolving loan facility of £10.0 million and an uncommitted incremental term loan facility of up to £6.0 million.  At 28 February 2023, the Group had no draw down (2022: £nil) of this facility.

 

Acquisitions

 

Bloomsbury has a successful track record in strategic acquisitions, with 19 completed since 2008. We are actively targeting and assessing further acquisition opportunities in line with our long-term growth strategy, particularly in Academic and Professional.

 

Dividend

 

The Group has a progressive dividend policy aiming to keep dividend earnings cover in excess of two times, supported by strong cash cover. The Board is recommending a final dividend of 10.34 pence per share, totalling £8.4 million. Together with the interim dividend, this makes a total dividend for the year ended 28 February 2023 of 11.75 pence per share, a 9% increase on the 10.74 pence value of the dividend for the year ended 28 February 2022.

 

Subject to Shareholder approval at our AGM on 18 July 2023, the final dividend will be paid on 25 August 2023 to Shareholders on the register on the record date of 28 July 2023.

 

Including the proposed 2022/23 final dividend, over the past ten years, the dividend has increased at a compound annual growth rate of 8%.

 

Future Publishing

 

In Non-Consumer, we are focused on our BDR growth by continuing the global sales and marketing of ABC-CLIO's 34 databases. We have successfully expanded the customer base for these in the global academic market, as well as extending our reach in the US school market, and we will increase our cross selling of existing school and university level digital resources. We will expand Bloomsbury Collections to include ABC-CLIO titles, as well as investing in new ABC-CLIO high school products and expanding BDR products with ABC-CLIO content.

 

Our strong Consumer publishing list for 2023/24 includes the next new Sarah J. Maas novel, House of Flame and Shadow, the third in the Crescent City series, which will be published in January 2024. The Harry Potter Wizarding Almanac, the official magical companion to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, will be published in October 2023. We are also publishing The Earth Transformed by Peter Frankopan, Pub Kitchen by Tom Kerridge, Impossible Creatures by Katherine Rundell, Tom Lake by Ann Patchett, and the next titles in our bestselling children's series, We're Going on a Ghost Hunt and We're Going to a Birthday Party, by Martha Mumford and Cherie Zamazing.

 

As previously announced, we have signed a further four book contract with Sarah J. Maas, on top of the three books already under contract.

 

Moreover, on 12 April 2023, HBO Max's streaming service announced an original Harry Potter scripted television series with Warner Bros. Discovery and J.K. Rowling as Executive Producer. The series will be a faithful and authentic adaptation of the books and will be available globally. The stories from J.K. Rowling's books will become a decade-long series with each season dedicated to one of the seven books, full of the much-loved characters that fans have adored for over 25 years. A new cast will lead a new generation of fandom, and the series will stand alongside the original classic and beloved films. As with other high-profile Harry Potter productions, we believe that the series will stimulate further interest in Harry Potter titles.

 

Outlook

 

Our digital strategy continues apace and despite the economic uncertainty, readers continue to turn to books. Bloomsbury is on solid foundations, with significant financial resources available to augment organic growth and invest in future acquisitions. We have continued to expand globally, with almost 75% of our revenues now generated internationally. Diversification in channels and markets continues to serve us well. It is all these factors combined - our customers, our consistent performance, and the scale and resilience of our business - that underpin the confidence we have in the future.

 

Trading for 2023/24 has started in line with the Board's expectations.


Audited Consolidated Income Statement

FOR THE YEAR ENDED 28 FEBRUARY 2023

 



Year ended

Year ended



28 February

28 February



2023

2022

 

Notes

£'000

£'000

Revenue

2

264,102

230,110

Cost of sales


(119,191)

(107,948)

Gross profit


144,911

122,162

Marketing and distribution costs


(32,529)

(29,808)

Administrative expenses


(86,551)

(69,675)

Share of result of joint venture


(228)

(117)

Operating profit before highlighted items


31,286

 27,112

Highlighted items

3

(5,683)

(4,550)

Operating profit


25,603

22,562

Finance income


270

105

Finance costs


(458)

(486)

Profit before taxation and highlighted items


31,098

26,731

Highlighted items

3

(5,683)

(4,550)

Profit before taxation


25,415

22,181

Taxation

4

(5,171)

(5,291)

Profit for the year attributable to owners of the Company


20,244

16,890

 


 


 


 


Earnings per share attributable to owners of the Company


 


Basic earnings per share

6

24.94p

20.72p

Diluted earnings per share

6

24.54p

20.33p

 


Audited Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income

FOR THE YEAR ENDED 28 FEBRUARY 2023

 

 


Year ended

Year ended


28 February

28 February


2023

2022

 

£'000

£'000

Profit for the year

 

20,244

16,890

Other comprehensive income

 


Items that may be reclassified to the income statement:

 


Exchange differences on translating foreign operations

7,464

1,497

Items that may not be reclassified to the income statement:

 


Remeasurements on the defined benefit pension scheme

-

(10)

Other comprehensive income for the year net of tax

7,464

1,487

Total comprehensive income for the year attributable to the owners of the Company

27,708

18,377

 

 

Items in the statement above are disclosed net of tax.  


Audited Consolidated Statement of Financial Position

AS AT 28 FEBRUARY 2023                                                                                   

 

 



28 February

28 February



2023

2022


Notes

£'000

£'000

Assets



Goodwill


48,656

47,910

Other intangible assets

Investments


38,243

-

40,323

45

Property, plant and equipment


2,503

2,319

Right-of-use assets


9,126

10,628

Deferred tax assets


7,928

7,168

Trade and other receivables

7

934

923

Total non-current assets


107,390

109,316



 


Inventories


43,364

33,816

Trade and other receivables

7

112,819

104,879

Cash and cash equivalents


51,540

41,226

Total current assets


207,723

179,921

Total assets


315,113

289,237



 


Liabilities


 


Deferred tax liabilities


3,115

3,696

Lease liabilities


8,570

9,961

Provisions


334

297

Total non-current liabilities


12,019

13,954



 


Trade and other liabilities


111,620

103,028

Lease liabilities


2,082

2,265

Current tax liabilities


790

433

Provisions


764

588

Total current liabilities


115,256

106,314

Total liabilities


127,275

120,268

Net assets


187,838

168,969

 


 


Equity  


 


Share capital


1,020

1,020

Share premium


47,319

47,319

Translation reserve


15,591

8,127

Other reserves


10,870

8,765

Retained earnings


113,038

103,738

Total equity attributable to owners of the Company


187,838

168,969

 

 

 

Audited Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity

AS AT 28 FEBRUARY 2023

 


Share capital £'000

Share premium £'000

Translation reserve

 £'000

 Merger reserve £'000

Capital redemption reserve

£'000

Share-based payment reserve £'000

Own shares held by EBT £'000

Retained

 earnings £'000

Total equity £'000

At 28 February 2021

1,020

47,319

6,630

1,803

22

7,945

(147)

103,657

168,249

Profit for the year

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

16,890

16,890

Other comprehensive income










Exchange differences on translating foreign operations

-

-

1,497

-

-

-

-

-

1,497

Remeasurements on the defined benefit pension scheme

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

(10)

(10)

Total comprehensive income for the year

-

-

1,497

-

-

-

-

16,880

18,377

Transactions with owners










Dividends to equity holders of the Company

Purchase of shares by the Employee Benefit Trust

-

 

-

-

 

-

-

 

-

-

 

-

-

 

-

-

 

-

-

 

(4,489)

(15,157)

 

-

(15,157)

 

(4,489)

Share options exercised

-

-

-

-

-

-

2,084

(2,050)

34

Deferred tax on share-based payment transactions

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

408

408

Share-based payment transactions

-

-

-

-

-

1,547

-

-

1,547

Total transactions with owners of the Company

-

-

-

-

-

1,547

(2,405)

(16,799)

(17,657)

At 28 February 2022

1,020

47,319

8,127

1,803

22

9,492

(2,552)

103,738

168,969

Profit for the year

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

20,244

20,244

Other comprehensive income










Exchange differences on translating foreign operations

-

-

7,464

-

-

-

-

-

7,464

Remeasurements on the defined benefit pension scheme

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Total comprehensive income for the year

-

-

7,464

-

-

-

-

20,244

27,708

Transactions with owners










Dividends to equity holders of the Company

Purchase of shares by the Employee Benefit Trust

-

 

-

-

 

-

-

 

-

-

 

-

-

 

-

-

 

-

-

 

(1,669)

(8,752)

 

-

(8,752)

 

(1,669)

Share options exercised

-

-

-

-

-

-

2,539

(2,273)

266

Deferred tax on share-based payment transactions

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

81

81

Share-based payment transactions

-

-

-

-

-

1,235

-

-

1,235

Total transactions with owners of the Company

-

-

-

-

-

1,235

870

(10,944)

(8,839)

At 28 February 2023

1,020

47,319

15,591

1,803

22

10,727

(1,682)

113,038

187,838


Audited Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows

FOR THE YEAR ENDED 28 FEBRUARY 2023

 

 


Year ended

28 February

 2023

£'000

Year ended

28 February

 2022

£'000

Cash flows from operating activities



Profit for the year

20,244

16,890

Adjustments for:



 Depreciation of property, plant and equipment

659

512

 Depreciation of right-of-use assets

2,114

1,889

 Amortisation of intangible assets

9,687

7,505

 Loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment

13

-

 Loss on disposal on intangible assets

107

65

 Finance income

(270)

(105)

 Finance costs

458

486

 Share of loss of joint venture

228

117

 Share-based payment charges

1,601

2,054

 Tax expense

5,171

5,291


40,012

34,704

(Increase) in inventories

(7,557)

(2,745)

(Increase)/decrease in trade and other receivables

(3,226)

1,205

Increase in trade and other liabilities

4,033

14,572

Cash generated from operating activities

33,262

47,736

Income taxes paid

(6,640)

(7,927)

Net cash generated from operating activities

26,622

39,809

Cash flows from investing activities



Purchase of property, plant and equipment

(818)

(644)

Purchase of intangible assets

Purchase of business, net of cash acquired

(5,165)

(72)

(3,693)

(22,913)

Purchase of rights to assets

(633)

(3,650)

Purchase of share in a joint venture

Interest received

(183)

-

253

92

Net cash used in investing activities

(6,618)

(30,808)

Cash flows from financing activities



Equity dividends paid

Purchase of shares by the Employee Benefit Trust

Proceeds from exercise of share options

(8,752)

(1,669)

266

(15,157)

(4,489)

34

Repayment of borrowing

-

(1,097)

Repayment of lease liabilities

(2,226)

(1,862)

Lease liabilities interest paid

(390)

(419)

Other interest paid

-

(55)

Net cash used in financing activities

(12,771)

(23,045)

Net increase/ (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents

7,233

(14,044)

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year

41,226

54,466

Exchange gain on cash and cash equivalents

3,081

804

Cash and cash equivalents at end of year

51,540

41,226

 

 

 

NOTES

 

1.  Accounting policies

 

a)    Basis of Preparation

 

The financial information set out above does not constitute the company's statutory accounts for the years ended 28 February 2023 or 28 February 2022 but is derived from those accounts. Statutory accounts for 2022 have been delivered to the registrar of companies, and those for 2023 will be delivered in due course. The auditor has reported on those accounts; their reports were (i) unqualified, (ii) did not include a reference to any matters to which the auditor drew attention by way of emphasis without qualifying their report and (iii) did not contain a statement under section 498 (2) or (3) of the Companies Act 2006.

 

The Group financial statements were prepared in accordance with UK-adopted international accounting standards ("UK-adopted IFRS") and the requirements of the Companies Act 2006.  Except as described below, the accounting policies applied in the year ended 28 February 2023 are consistent with those applied in the financial statements for year ended 28 February 2022 with the exception of a number of new accounting standards and amendments which have not had a material impact on the Group's results.

 

 

b)  Going concern

 

The Directors have a reasonable expectation that the Group has adequate resources to continue in operational existence at least 12 months from the date of this preliminary announcement, being the period of the detailed going concern assessment reviewed by the Board, and therefore continue to adopt the going concern basis of accounting in preparing the condensed consolidated financial statements. 

 

The Board has modelled a severe but plausible downside scenario. This assumes:

·     Print revenues are reduced by 20% during 2023/2024, with recovery during 2024/2025;

·     Digital revenues are reduced by 20% during 2023/2024, with recovery during 2024/2025;

·     Print costs are increased by 3% from 2023/2024 and staff costs are increased by 3% from 2023/2024;

·     Downside assumptions about extended debtor days during 2023/2024, with recovery during 2024/2025;

·     Cash preservation measures implemented and variable costs reduced.

At 28 February 2023, the Group had available liquidity of £61.5m, comprising central cash balances and its undrawn £10.0m Revolving Credit Facility (RCF). The RCF agreement is to October 2024. Under the severe but plausible downside scenario, the Group would maintain sufficient liquidity headroom even before modelling the mitigating effect of actions that management would take in the event that these downside risks were to crystallise.

The Group has an unsecured revolving credit facility with Lloyds Bank Plc. At 28 February 2023, the Group had £nil draw down (2022: £nil) of this facility with £10.0 million of undrawn borrowing facilities (2022: £10.0 million) available.

The facility comprises a committed revolving credit facility of £10 million, and an uncommitted incremental term loan facility of up to £6 million. The facilities are subject to two covenants, being a maximum net debt to EBITDA ratio of 2.5x and a minimum interest cover covenant of 4x.

 


 

2.  Revenue and segmental analysis

The Group is comprised of two worldwide publishing divisions: Consumer and Non-Consumer, reflecting the core customers for our different operations. The Consumer division is split into two operating segments: Children's Trade and Adult Trade, and Non-Consumer is split into two operating segments: Academic & Professional and Special Interest.

 

Each reportable segment represents a cash-generating unit for the purpose of impairment testing. We have allocated goodwill between reportable segments.  These divisions are the basis on which the Group primarily reports its segment information. Segments derive their revenue from book publishing, sale of publishing and distribution rights, management and other publishing services.

 

The analysis by segment is shown below:

 

 

 

Children's Trade

Adult Trade

Consumer

Academic & Professional

Special Interest

Non-Consumer

Unallocated

Total

Year ended 28 February 2023

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

External revenue

108,897

57,796

166,693

75,749

21,660

97,409

-

264,102

Cost of sales

(56,205)

(30,473)

(86,678)

(22,578)

(9,935)

(32,513)

-

(119,191)

Gross profit

52,692

27,323

80,015

53,171

11,725

64,896

-

144,911

Marketing and distribution costs

(14,882)

(9,455)

(24,337)

(5,364)

(2,828)

(8,192)

-

(32,529)

Contribution before administrative expenses

37,810

17,868

55,678

47,807

8,897

56,704

-

112,382

Administrative expenses excluding highlighted items

(20,497)

(16,835)

(37,332)

(35,296)

(8,240)

(43,536)

-

(80,868)

Share of result of joint venture

-

-

-

-

-

-

(228)

(228)

Operating profit/(loss) before highlighted items/segment results

17,313

1,033

18,346

12,511

657

13,168

(228)

31,286

Amortisation of acquired intangible assets

-

(352)

(352)

(4,660)

(214)

(4,874)

-

(5,226)

Other highlighted items

-

-

-

-

-

-

(457)

(457)

Operating profit/(loss)

17,313

681

17,994

7,851

443

8,294

(685)

25,603

Finance income

-

-

-

50

-

50

220

270

Finance costs

(144)

(81)

(225)

(125)

(40)

(165)

(68)

(458)

Profit/(loss) before taxation and highlighted items

17,169

952

18,121

12,436

617

13,053

(76)

31,098

Amortisation of acquired intangible assets

-

(352)

(352)

(4,660)

(214)

(4,874)

-

(5,226)

Other highlighted items

-

-

-

-

-

-

(457)

(457)

Profit/(loss) before taxation

17,169

600

17,769

7,776

403

8,179

(533)

25,415

Taxation

-

-

-

-

-

-

(5,171)

(5,171)

Profit/(loss) for the year

17,169

600

17,769

7,776

403

8,179

(5,704)

20,244

Operating profit/(loss) before highlighted items/segment results

17,313

1,033

18,346

12,511

657

13,168

(228)

31,286

Depreciation

930

659

1,589

950

234

1,184

-

2,773

Amortisation of internally generated intangibles

487

629

1,116

3,023

322

3,345

-

4,461

EBITDA before highlighted items

18,730

2,321

21,051

16,484

1,213

17,697

(228)

38,520

 

 

 

Children's Trade

Adult Trade

Consumer

Academic & Professional

Special Interest

Non-Consumer

Unallocated

Total

Year ended 28 February 2022

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

External revenue

93,039

55,157

148,196

59,328

22,586

81,914

-

230,110

Cost of sales

(46,759)

(29,106)

(75,865)

(20,945)

(11,138)

(32,083)

-

(107,948)

Gross profit

46,280

26,051

72,331

38,383

11,448

49,831

-

122,162

Marketing and distribution costs

(12,812)

(8,271)

(21,083)

(5,335)

(3,390)

(8,725)

-

(29,808)

Contribution before administrative expenses

33,468

17,780

51,248

33,048

8,058

41,106

-

92,354

Administrative expenses excluding highlighted items

(17,506)

(15,732)

(33,238)

(23,907)

(7,980)

(31,887)

-

(65,125)

Share of result of joint venture

-

-

-

-

-

-

(117)

(117)

Operating profit/(loss) before highlighted items/ segment results

15,962

2,048

18,010

9,141

78

9,219

(117)

27,112

Amortisation of acquired intangible assets

-

(272)

(272)

(2,349)

(214)

(2,563)

-

(2,835)

Other highlighted items

-

-

-

-

-

-

(1,715)

(1,715)

Operating profit/(loss)

15,962

1,776

17,738

6,792

(136)

6,656

(1,832)

22,562

Finance income

-

-

-

62

-

62

43

105

Finance costs

(162)

(94)

(256)

(115)

(48)

(163)

(67)

(486)

Profit/(loss) before taxation and highlighted items

15,800

1,954

17,754

9,088

30

9,118

(141)

26,731

Amortisation of acquired intangible assets

-

(272)

(272)

(2,349)

(214)

(2,563)

-

(2,835)

Other highlighted items

-

-

-

-

-

-

(1,715)

(1,715)

Profit/(loss) before taxation

15,800

1,682

17,482

6,739

(184)

6,555

(1,856)

22,181

Taxation

-

-

-

-

-

-

(5,291)

(5,291)

Profit/(loss) for the year

15,800

1,682

17,482

6,739

(184)

6,555

(7,147)

16,890

Operating profit/(loss) before highlighted items/ segment results

15,962

2,048

18,010

9,141

78

9,219

(117)

27,112

Depreciation

914

632

1,546

604

251

855

-

2,401

Amortisation of internally generated intangibles

455

508

963

3,405

302

3,707

-

4,670

EBITDA before highlighted items

17,331

3,188

20,519

13,150

631

13,781

(117)

34,183

External revenue by source




United Kingdom

£'000

North America

£'000

Australia

£'000

India

£'000

Total

£'000

Year ended 28 February 2023

144,632

98,294

16,145

5,031

264,102







Year ended 28 February 2022

143,192

69,651

13,133

4,134

230,110

 

During the year sales to one customer exceeded 10% of Group revenue (2022: one customer). The value of these sales was £68,856,000 (2022: £67,811,000).

 

External revenue by product type

 

Year ended 28 February 2023

Children's Trade

£'000

Adult Trade £'000

Consumer £'000

Academic & Professional

£'000

Special Interest £'000

Non-Consumer £'000

Total

£'000

Print

44,702

135,183

32,942

17,841

50,783

185,966

Digital

11,374

24,973

39,051

2,293

41,344

66,317

Rights and Services1

1,720

6,537

3,756

1,526

5,282

11,819

Total

108,897

57,796

166,693

75,749

21,660

97,409

264,102

 

Year ended 28 February 2022

Children's Trade

£'000

Adult Trade £'000

Consumer £'000

Academic & Professional

£'000

Special Interest £'000

Non-Consumer £'000

Total

£'000

Print

42,702

121,755

29,996

18,632

48,628

170,383

Digital

10,511

21,022

27,150

2,354

29,504

50,526

Rights and Services1

1,944

5,419

2,182

1,600

3,782

9,201

Total

93,039

55,157

148,196

59,328

22,586

81,914

230,110

 

1 Rights and Services revenue includes revenue from copyright and trademark licences, management contracts, advertising and publishing services.

 

 

Total assets


28 February

28 February


2023

2022


£'000

£'000

Children's Trade

19,569

13,633

Adult Trade

14,493

13,513

Academic & Professional

77,918

78,096

Special Interest

14,381

13,170

Unallocated

188,752

170,825

Total assets

315,113

289,237

 

Unallocated primarily represents centrally held assets including system development, property plant and equipment, right-of-use assets, receivables and cash.

 

Analysis of non-current assets (excluding deferred tax assets and financial instruments) by geographic location

 


28 February

28 February


2023

2022


£'000

£'000

United Kingdom (country of domicile)

71,311

79,708

North America

26,796

22,196

Other

421

244

Total

98,528

102,148

 

 

3.  Highlighted items



Year ended

Year ended



28 February

28 February



2023

2022



£'000

£'000

Legal and other professional fees


93

1,317

Integration and restructuring costs


364

398

Other highlighted items

457

1,715

Amortisation of acquired intangible assets                                      

5,226

2,835

Total highlighted items


5,683

4,550

 

Highlighted items charged to operating profit comprise significant non-cash charges and major one-off initiatives which are highlighted in the income statement because, in the opinion of the Directors, separate disclosure is helpful in understanding the underlying performance and future profitability of the business.

All highlighted items are included in administrative expenses in the income statement.

For the year ended 28 February 2023, legal and other professional fees of £93,000 were incurred as a result of the Group's acquisitions, including ABC-CLIO, LLC and certain assets of UIT Cambridge. Integration and restructuring costs primarily relate to the integration of the ABC-CLIO, LLC, Head of Zeus Limited acquisitions and certain assets of Red Globe Press.

For the year ended 28 February 2022, legal and other professional fees of £1,317,000 were incurred as a result of the Group's acquisitions, including ABC-CLIO, LLC, Head of Zeus Limited and certain assets of Red Globe Press. Integration and restructuring costs primarily relate to the integration of the above acquisitions including restructuring and other restructuring in both divisions.


 

4.  Taxation

 

Factors affecting tax charge for the year

The tax on the Group's profit before tax differs from the standard rate of corporation tax in the United Kingdom of 19.0% (2022: 19.0%).  The reasons for this are explained below:






 


Year ended

Year ended


28 February    2023

28 February    2022


£'000

%

£'000

%

Profit before taxation

25,415

100.0

22,181

100.0

Profit on ordinary activities multiplied by the standard rate of corporation tax in the UK of 19.0% (2022: 19.0%)

4,829

19.0

4,214

19.0

Effects of: 

 

 



Non-deductible revenue expenditure

67

0.3

16

0.1

Non-taxable income

(323)

(1.3)

(383)

(1.7)

Different rates of tax in foreign jurisdictions

865

3.4

946

4.3

Tax losses

189

0.7

(212)

(1.0)

Movement in deferred tax rate

(65)

(0.3)

144

0.7

Adjustment to tax charge in respect of prior years

 

 



Current tax

(1,123)

(4.4)

(173)

(0.8)

Deferred tax

724

2.9

512

2.3

Tax charge for the year before disallowable costs on highlighted items

5,163

20.3

5,064

22.9

Highlighted items:

 

 



Disallowable costs

8

-

227

1.0

Tax charge for the year

5,171

20.3

5,291

23.9








 

Different rates of tax in foreign jurisdictions is where we are paying tax at higher rates in the US and Australia as well as paying state taxes in the US.

Tax losses relate to the recognition of previously unrecognised tax losses or losses in the year that have not been recognised as deferred tax assets.

Adjustments to prior periods primarily arise where an outcome is obtained on certain tax matters which differs from expectations held when the related provision was made. Where the outcome is more favourable than the provision made, the difference is released, lowering the current year tax charge. Where the outcome is less favourable than our provision, an additional charge to current year tax will occur.

We are not aware of any significant unprovided exposures that are considered likely to materialise.

5.  Dividends


Year ended

Year ended


28 February

28 February


2023

2022


£'000

£'000

Amounts paid in the year

 


Prior period 9.40p final dividend per share (2022: 7.58p)

7,604

6,141

Prior period special dividend per share for the year (2022: 9.78p)

-

7,923

Interim 1.41p dividend per share (2022: 1.34p)

1,148

1,093

Total dividend payments in the year

8,752

15,157

Amounts arising in respect of the year

 


Interim 1.41p dividend per share for the year (2022: 1.34p)

1,148

1,093

Proposed 10.34p final dividend per share for the year (2022: 9.40p)

8,397

7,671

Total dividend 11.75p per share for the year (2022: 10.74p)

9,545

8,764

 

The Directors are recommending a final dividend of 10.34 pence per share, which, subject to Shareholder approval at the Annual General Meeting, will be paid on 25 August 2023 to Shareholders on the register at close of business on 28 July 2023.

 

 

6.  Earnings per share

 

The basic earnings per share for the year ended 28 February 2023 is calculated using a weighted average number of Ordinary shares in issue of 81,172,636 (2022: 81,532,620) after deducting shares held by the Employee Benefit Trust.

The diluted earnings per share is calculated by adjusting the weighted average number of Ordinary shares to take account of all dilutive potential Ordinary shares, which are in respect of unexercised share options and the Performance Share Plan.

 


Year ended

Year ended


28 February

28 February


2023

2022


Number

Number

Weighted average shares in issue

81,172,636

81,532,620

Dilution

1,336,878

1,530,573

Diluted weighted average shares in issue

82,509,514

83,063,193


 



£'000

£'000

Profit after tax attributable to owners of the Company

20,244

16,890

Basic earnings per share

24.94p

20.72p

Diluted earnings per share

24.54p

20.33p

 

 



£'000

£'000

Adjusted profit attributable to owners of the Company

25,217

21,548

Adjusted basic earnings per share

31.07p

26.43p

Adjusted diluted earnings per share

30.56p

25.94p

 

 

 

 

Adjusted profit is derived as follows:


Year ended

Year ended


28 February

28 February


2023

2022


£'000

£'000

Profit before taxation

25,415

22,181

Amortisation of acquired intangible assets

5,226

2,835

Other highlighted items

457

1,715

Adjusted profit before tax

31,098

26,731

                                             

Tax expense

5,171

5,291

Deferred tax movements on goodwill and acquired intangible assets

631

(207)

Tax expense on other highlighted items

79

99

Adjusted tax

5,881

5,183

 

Adjusted earnings

25,217

21,548

 

 

The Group includes the benefit of tax amortisation of intangible assets in the calculation of adjusted

tax as this more accurately aligns the adjusted tax charge with the expected cash tax payments.

 

 

7.  Trade and other receivables


28 February

28 February


2023

2022


£'000

£'000

Non-current

 


Accrued income

934

923


 


Current

 


Gross trade receivables

72,549

68,764

Less: loss allowance

(3,334)

(3,551)

Net trade receivables

69,215

65,213

Income tax recoverable

2,332

1,392

Other receivables

2,497

2,431

Prepayments

2,653

2,672

Accrued income

6,579

4,494

Royalty advances

29,543

28,677

Total current trade and other receivables

112,819

104,879

Total trade and other receivables

113,753

105,802

 

Non-current receivables relate to accrued income on long-term rights deals.

Trade receivables principally comprise amounts receivable from the sale of books due from distributors. The majority of trade debtors are secured by credit insurance and in certain territories by third party distributors.

A provision is held against gross advances payable in respect of published title advances which may not be fully earned down by anticipated future sales. As at 28 February 2023, £7,745,000 (2022: £7,145,000) of royalty advances relate to titles expected to be published in more than 12 months' time.

 

 

8.  Annual General Meeting

 

 

The Annual General Meeting will be held on 18 July 2023.

 

9.  Report and Accounts

 

Copies of the Annual Report and Financial Statements will be circulated to shareholders in June and can be viewed after the posting date on the Bloomsbury website.

 

 

 

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