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Bloomsbury e-book sales rise as it ‘grasps opportunities of the digital revolution’

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Bloomsbury Publishing today said that 12% of its book sales now take place online as it “grasps the opportunities” of the digital revolution to build “a growing, sustainable and balanced twenty-first century publishing business.”

The Harry Potter publisher said its digital sales rose by 21% to £12.2m in the year to February 28, contributing 12.1% of title sales – up from 11.5% at the same time last year.

In its academic and professional business, e-books and other digital products accounted for 10% of divisional revenues. The division is also launching new digital services including Drama Online, Actors and Performers and, this month, Bloomsbury Collections.

Bloomsbury hailed the “robust growth” of e-book sales, and said there was “potential for further expansion in high-growth economies”.

The update came as Bloomsbury reported an 11% growth in revenue over the year, to £109.5m, with pre-tax profits slightly down at £9.5m, from £9.8m last time.

The company said it had seen a “spectacular year” for adult sales, with best sellers including Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed and Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season.

Nigel Newton, chief executive, said: “We have continued to grasp the opportunities offered by the digital revolution to build a growing profitable, sustainable and balanced twenty-first century publishing business. Underpinning this is our success in developing into a wholly integrated trade and academic publisher in the major markets around the world. During the year we made good progress towards our longer-term strategic targets.

“We enter 2014/15 with a strong publishing programme including new titles from Tom Kerridge and Paul Hollywood as well as a year-long Harry Potter marketing campaign to promote the newly illustrated series. In May we launched Bloomsbury Collections, an academic e-book platform that will have 3,500 titles by the end of the year.”

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