|12 months to 31 December 2017||12 months to 31 December 2018|
|Group net revenue||£62.4m||£71.5m|
|Operational loss for year||£(15.0)m||£(3.6)m|
|Write down, prior years||£(19.7m)||£nil|
Results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2017/2018:
Bonnier Books UK, the UK division of top 15 world publisher Bonnier Books, has reduced its losses to £3.6m in 2018 amid its ongoing transformation programme.
For the financial year to 31 December 2017, Bonnier Books UK underwent a balance sheet restructure resulting in write downs totalling £19.7m. Coupled with underlying operating losses of £15.0m, this gave rise to an EBITA loss of £34.7m for the year.
In 2018 the operating loss was reduced to £3.6m. Revenues were up by 15% to £71.5m and operating EBITA improved by over £11m on the previous year, demonstrating a sharp turnaround in the health of the business.
From 2014-2017, the business’ overheads steadily outgrew its rise in revenues and the company invested considerably in rights. In conjunction with the decision to fully align accounting policies in the UK with the wider Bonnier Books group, the 2017 result was negatively affected.
The write-downs have normalised the operating capital levels of the group and a full recapitalisation during 2017 and 2018 by Swedish parent company, Bonnier Books, has ensured the ongoing strength of the company’s balance sheet.
As part of a strategic decision to secure a long-term sustainable future for the business, the company announced plans in February 2018 to align itself more closely with its sister companies in the Bonnier Books group and increase its focus on traditional publishing, including narrative non-fiction and literary fiction.
At the same time, the company embarked on a change management programme, pursuing a number of operational efficiencies including a staff restructure.
Bonnier Books UK has continued to strengthen its publishing, increasing TCM growth by 52% in 2018 and doubling its number of Sunday Times bestsellers compared to 2017.
“Bonnier Books UK has made sizeable progress towards its goal of sustainable profitability … The latest figures for 2018 are testament to the operating strength of the company, a well-defined strategy for the future and a continually strengthening publishing programme … We remain fully committed to financially supporting the company as it continues to grow its presence, with the clear goal of becoming one of the UK’s top publishers.”
Jim Zetterlund, Chairman of Bonnier Books UK and COO / CFO of Bonnier Books
Jim Zetterlund, Chairman, Bonnier Books UK, said: “After a very weak 2017, Bonnier Books UK has made sizeable progress towards its goal of sustainable profitability and looks set to be back in the black by 2019. The latest figures for 2018 are testament to the operating strength of the company, a well-defined strategy for the future and a continually strengthening publishing programme, with standout successes across fiction, non-fiction and children’s. Through its recapitalisation during 2017 and 2018, the business is ideally positioned in the evolving book market to harness growth opportunities. We remain fully committed to financially supporting the company as it continues to grow its presence, with the clear goal of becoming one of the UK’s top publishers.”
During 2018, as part of its continued transformation programme, the company began the process of uniting its two trade divisions – Bonnier Zaffre and Kings Road Publishing – as one trade publisher. Its mass-market publishing division, Igloo Books, will continue to operate separately from Northampton. This will culminate in the trade business relocating under one roof for the first time in 2020.
From the 1st April 2018, the company will begin to rebrand its two trade divisions as one trade publisher, “Bonnier Books UK.”
“Our publishing has continued to reach new heights, by virtue of our wonderful authors, illustrators and brand partners and, of course, my dedicated colleagues.”
Perminder Mann, CEO, Bonnier Books UK
Perminder Mann, CEO, Bonnier Books UK, said: “Against a backdrop of change in 2018, our publishing has continued to reach new heights, by virtue of our wonderful authors, illustrators and brand partners and, of course, my dedicated colleagues – I would like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to them all for helping Bonnier Books UK to achieve such significant progress. I look forward to continuing to work with them to build on everything we have achieved so far.”
 Global sales of Wilbur Smith titles across all formats in 2018 and 2019 (Q1)