August 14 – 21, 2008 Edition

Profile Books
Optimistic Despite
Decline in Profits

LONDON/8/14/2008–UK-based Profile Books, distributed overseas by Random House, remains optimistic about its future, despite a 17% decline in sales and a 64% drop (to £770,000)  in operating profit for the year to end March 2008. A year earlier, the company showed a  £2.1m profit, driven by such New Science tie-in books as Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze?, as well as the acquisition of the imprint, Serpent’s Tail.

Profile’s turnover dropped from £9.1m to £7.6m in the period. But Profile described its profit level, at 10%, as “heartening.” Net assets grew from £4.1m to £4.9m, and cash from £4.2m to £4.7m.

Profile’s managing director Andrew Franklin said the overall figures are very pleasing. “Some years we publish a runaway bestseller and it’s a fabulous bonus when we do, but even without one these results show that we are maintaining our success in what has been a tough trading environment,” he said. He also said Profile’s balance sheet is strong enough to support the company in hard times.

The company, founded in 1996, specializes in stimulating nonfiction titles, including history, biography, memoir, politics, current affairs, travel and popular science. Among its successes is Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss, a run-away bestseller with more than a million copies sold, and took the Book of the Year Award at the British Book Awards in 2004. In 2006, Profile Books earned the Small Publisher of the Year award from the same event. Titles can be purchased online at