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Bloomsbury, which published the Harry Potter books, has announced plans to raise around £ 8.4 million in a stock placement to help it maintain its cash flow during Covid-19.

The group said the impact of the cornavirus on its operations had “rapidly increased” since its last update in mid-March, with widespread library closings affecting its business performance.

The group said:

Store closings have affected most bookstore chains in the United Kingdom and North America, including branches of Waterstones, Barnes & Noble and WH Smith. While some retailers have been able to continue trading through their websites, orders for printed books, which accounted for 79% of the company’s revenues for the year ended February 29, 2020, are affected in all of our markets.

Bloomsbury said it could offer certainty about the severity and duration of the Covid-19 impact, and was unable to provide guidance for the current year. He stated that some of the effects may be due to factors beyond his own operations:

The impact can be substantial; The extent to which the coronavirus crisis affects our business will depend on the evolution of the positions of our main print and digital wholesale customers, academic institutions and the duration of government restrictions and restrictions, and in particular their impact on retailers. and academic institutions.

The publisher described various plans to support its cash flow. In addition to the investment in shares (equivalent to approximately 5pc of its share capital currently issued), these include:

  • Reduction in salary or fees of 30pc for members of the board of directors
  • Salary reductions for its staff, in favor of the most senior employees
  • Freezing of recruitment and dismissal of certain employees
  • Seek help from government plans in the UK, the US and Australia
  • Reduce discretionary spending

Peel Hunt analysts said:

We view this as a very conservative approach, even if it clearly allows the company to continue investing in authors.


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