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Publisher upgrades forecasts after exceptionally strong trading
Thursday 08 Apr 2021 Author: Tom Sieber

Bloomsbury Publishing (BMY) 298p
Gain to date: 5%
Original entry point: Buy at 283.84p, 4 February 2021

Our positive call on publishing group Bloomsbury (BMY) is off to a solid start thanks to a bullish trading update on 24 March.

The company said it expected annual revenue and profit to be ‘significantly ahead’ of upgraded market expectations on exceptional sales performance in February as the reading boom continued.

‘The popularity of reading during lockdown is a ray of sunshine in an otherwise very dark last year,’ the company said.

‘February, the final month of our financial year, saw an exceptional sales performance for Bloomsbury as the surge in reading continued. We do not yet know how consumer behaviour will change as academic institutions, shops and leisure activities re-open and whether this popularity will continue as restrictions are lifted,’ the company added.

Numis analyst Steve Liechti commented: ‘Fundamentally we see Bloomsbury as an interesting asset with better growth vs recent history given more aggressive management of its Consumer assets, and good momentum in digital platform driven A&P (academic & professional).

‘An interesting “problem” is a relatively inefficient looking balance sheet, after much better cash flow performance through Covid-19 vs initial fears, and the pre-emptive placing in April 2020.’

SHARES SAYS: Keep buying.

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