Harry Potter publisher distributes meaty dividend after windfall profits

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc reported a 40% rise in annual profit on Wednesday and raised its final dividend payout by around a quarter, buoyed by a reading boom that held up even after the pandemic shutdowns.

The London-listed publisher, best known for picking up JK Rowling’s Potter series in 1997 after it was rejected by a dozen others, “achieved its best results ever” as more people took to the habit of reading.

Bloomsbury said trading for fiscal 2023 had begun in line with board expectations, adding it would invest vigorously and seek to make new acquisitions.

“The surge in reading, which seemed like one of the only ray of light in the darkest days of the pandemic, may now be proving permanent…” chief executive Nigel Newton said in a statement. communicated.

Sales of American fantasy author Sarah J. Maas’ titles increased 86%, while sales of academic publications benefited from the structural shift to online learning, the company said.

Profit reached 26.7 million pounds ($32.07 million) for the year ended February 28, while sales rose 24% to 230.1 million pounds. Sales increased by 41% and profits by 70% compared to the comparative two-year period.

The company has also proposed a 24% increase in its final dividend to 9.40 pence per share.

By Aby José Koilparambil