(Reuters) - Bloomsbury Publishing Plc reported a lower profit for the first half, hurt by weak sales of its children’s and educational books, and said performance in the second half would depend on the books scheduled to be launched in the next six months.
Bloomsbury, the publisher of the “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling, said it has a strong second-half list of books, including “Hogwarts Library” boxed set by Rowling, “Hugh’s Three Good Things” by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
Profit before tax fell to 0.9 million pounds ($1.44 million)for March-August from 1.5 million pounds a year earlier.
Revenue rose 2 percent to 43.5 million pounds. Revenue from children’s and educational books, which contribute 22 percent of the overall revenue, fell 23 percent to 9.3 million pounds.
The business generated 29 percent of revenue in the six months ended 31 August, 2011.
E-book sales, however, jumped 89 percent to 4.5 million pounds.
Shares in Bloomsbury, which raised its interim dividend to 0.94 pence per share from 0.89 pence a year earlier, closed at 138.5 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Reporting by Monika Shinghal in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian