0239 GMT November 27, 2021
The company said the increase in reading had continued, as people “rediscovered the joy of reading”, with fantasy, escapism, social inclusion and cookery selling well, theguardian.com reported.
It said its revenues for the six months to the end of August were also boosted by customers ordering earlier than in previous years. Book sales, along with many other consumer products, usually peak in the three months leading up to Christmas. Shops and online retailers have ramped up stock levels to ensure they have sufficient stock for Christmas.
Last month, publishers and retailers warned of potential delays on Christmas books because the national shortage of lorry drivers had affected deliveries. Waterstones, the UK’s biggest high-street bookseller, said it had upped stocks of books by a quarter.
Its consumer division posted 29 percent revenue growth, according to unaudited first-half results. Bestsellers included books by the American fantasy author Sarah J Maas about female warriors, such as ‘A Court of Silver Flames,’ as well as the fantasy novels ‘Piranesi’ by Susanna Clarke and ‘The Priory of the Orange Tree’ by Samantha Shannon, both British writers, and ‘Outdoor Cooking’ from the Michelin-starred chef Kerridge.
Sales of books by Maas jumped 130 percent. The company said ‘Harry Potter’ sales were also good and the books remained among its top sellers, while other children’s titles grew by 10 percent. It launched ‘Our Biggest Experiment: A History of the Climate Crisis’ by Alice Bell in July, months before the COP26 summit that starts in Glasgow on Saturday.
Two Bloomsbury authors have won prestigious prizes since the end of August: the Nobel Prize in literature went to Abdulrazak Gurnah, while the women’s prize was won by Clarke.
Overall, the company made revenues of £100.7m in the first half, up 29 percent, and underlying profits before tax of £12.9m, up 220 percent, boosted by two acquisitions. It expects to make revenues of £193m and an underlying pre-tax profit of £19.3m in the year to 28 February.