E-book surge bolsters Bloomsbury profit

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LONDON (ShareCast) - The boom in electronic books helped book publisher Bloomsbury report a sharp increase in full year pre-tax profit and said strong titles in the UK and US gives it confidence for the year ahead.

The Harry Potter series publisher said £8.5m for the year ended 29 February 2012 £5.5m before. Operating profit margin before adjustments rose to 12.4% from 9.1% the previous year.

Total (NYSE: TOT - news) turnover for the period rose 11.5% to £103.2m while continuing turnover up gained 16.9% to £97.4m.

The share of sales contributed by e-books doubled to 6% from 2011, as sales of digital books surged 159% to £5.7m.

"E-book reader usage is still at an early stage in many of our markets and new and improved reading devices are being competitively marketed, including colour tablets and mobile phone applications," the group said in a statement.

Bloomsbury, which is to release a Hogwart's Library Box Set by JK Rowling and Three Good Things by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in 2012, said it would extend its focus on its academic business following the acquisition of Continuum.

The total dividend has increased by 10.2% to 5.2p per share.


CJ