BOOK publisher Bloomsbury has cooked up a strong list of food-related titles for the key Christmas season after revealing that its first-half profits had jumped by a third.
The firm yesterday released Pies and Puds, the latest baking guide from Great British Bake Off star Paul Hollywood – pictured above with fellow judge Mary Berry and this year’s finalists – and bookmaker Ladbrokes has predicted that it could top the Christmas best-sellers chart. Bloomsbury, which recently named former lawyer Sir Anthony Salz as its chairman, also has high hopes for another BBC tie-in, Masterchef: the Finalists, as well as Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food.
Along with its “flourishing” list of cookery books, a strong performance at the academic division helped pre-tax profits rise to £1.1 million for the six months to August, on turnover up 13 per cent at £49.2m.
Chief executive Nigel Newton said Bloomsbury was “well positioned to build on the success of the first half of the year” and the interim dividend, to be paid on 29 November, was lifted 4 per cent to 0.98p a share.