Bloomsbury, a book publishing company, has achieved its highest profits in the first half of the year. This is partly due to the rise in demand for fantasy fiction, which has been fueled by authors such as Sarah J Maas from America and Samantha Shannon from Britain. The enduring popularity of the Harry Potter series has also contributed to this success.
The publishing company, located in London, reported a profit increase of 11% to £17.7m in the first six months of the year ending in August. This is a significant rise from the same period last year, leading the company to declare a more than double increase in its dividend payout to shareholders.
Maas who best known for her fantasy series Throne of Glass, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and Crescent City. Bloomsbury said sales of the New York Times bestselling author’s work had risen by 79% in the first half of the year.
During the same time frame, there was a 169% increase in sales of Shannon’s books in the dystopian and fantasy genres, such as The Bone Season and The Priory of the Orange Tree.
The publisher stated that fantasy is a large and growing genre that has contributed to the success of their consumer division. They also mentioned that there is still high demand for JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books, even 26 years after the first one was released.
The sales contributed to a total of £136.7m in half-year sales for Bloomsbury, a publisher of academic works, representing an 11% increase.
The CEO, Nigel Newton, expressed joy over the recent achievement of another author signed by Bloomsbury, Jon Fosse. Fosse, a Norwegian writer, received the Nobel prize in literature in October. He is most recognized for his series of novels called the Septology, including Aliss at the Fire, Melancholy, and A Shining.
Bloomsbury said its strong cash position would allow it to invest in growth and consider potential acquisitions. Newton said: “These results demonstrate the strength of our strategy of publishing for both the consumer and academic markets.”
The publisher announced that it will increase payouts for shareholders, who will receive an interim dividend of 3.7p per share. This is higher than the 1.41p per share that was distributed in the first half of 2022.
The publisher’s stocks increased by 2% on Thursday morning.