October 25 2014 Latest news:
By annabelle dickson Business writer
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Thorpe St Andrew-based book and ebook business Bertram Books outperformed market trends recording a 84pc increase in underlying operating profit to £6.8m.
It saw growth in a number of areas of the business, but said in its preliminary results for the year end, published today, that the acquisition of academic book and ebook library supply company Dawson Books in August 2011 had been central to its performance.
In a UK book wholesale market contracting 7pc, Bertrams saw growth of 2.5pc, which it said stemmed from serving a growing base of internet retailers.
In the report to the City, Bertrams said: “Looking at the broader books market, it is clear that our diverse customer base is an on-going strength. Bertrams’ revenues now come from a balanced portfolio of traditional and internet retailers, academic and public libraries, international customers, and a leading academic ebook platform.”
Bertrams, which is part of the Smiths News group, saw it revenue increase 31pc to £174m.
Smiths News, which is the largest UK newspaper and magazine wholesaler, saw its pre-tax profit increase 14pc to £36.6m with revenue up 4pc to £1,803.9m.
Mark Cashmore, group chief executive, said: We have shown tremendous resilience in our core newspaper and magazine distribution business and made substantial progress in our books division, Bertrams.
He added: “Looking ahead, we have a clear strategy for growth with opportunities in all our divisions.”
Bertrams said that the strength of the international book market, particularly Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific would allow the business to capitalise on the growth in demand for English language books abroad.
The company also saw an increase in its sales to public libraries, which increased 11.2pc like-for-like after a difficult period in the previous year when confidence was affected by government spending cuts. But its academic library sales were flat, but do not appear to have been affected by changes to student funding.
Bertrams said its integrated distribution hub in Norwich had enabled it to achieve £2.5m of efficiency savings, and it is targeting a further £1.3m of savings in 2013 and 2014.
A £2m plan to transform Palmers department store in Dereham and a neighbouring eyesore into an upmarket supermarket and clothing shop has been confirmed.