Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury is taking advantage as Britons turn to books as an affordable treat in the cost of living crisis

Wednesday, March 15, 2023 11:42 a.m.

Harry Potter fans at Waterstone’s Bookstore. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)

People increasingly turning to books as an affordable hobby amid the cost of living crisis have helped Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury boost its full-year profit outlook.

The group – which is also the publisher of Bake Off star Paul Hollywood’s latest Bake cookbook – said it is seeing growing demand for print titles, e-books and audiobooks, which is helping to boost sales and earnings, with trading particularly strong in recent months.

He now expects underlying pre-tax profits to be ‘significantly’ above expectations, at around £30m for the year ending February 28 on revenue of over £260m .

The company was previously expected to generate £26.9 million of underlying pre-tax profit and achieve sales of £242.6 million.

Nigel Newton, Bloomsbury’s chief executive, said: “Throughout a year characterized by rising inflation and cost-of-living pressure, reading remains hugely popular around the world, with books being seen by many readers as an affordable hobby.”

Shares of the company jumped more than 7% on earnings cheers.

Recent Bloomsbury bestsellers include Samantha Shannon’s new novel A Day of Fallen Night, which was published last month, and Johan Hari’s Stolen Focus and Bake by Hollywood.

He also said he signed another four-book deal with American fantasy author Sarah Maas this week, in addition to the three future books already under contract.

Bloomsbury added that sales were also strong in its academic publishing division, particularly for digital resources.

“Two of our best performers of the year came from very disparate ends of our publishing strategy – fantasy novels on the one hand and academic digital resources on the other,” Mr. Newton said.

Press Association – Holly Williams

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