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Canongate reports record-breaking turnover

Canongate is reporting record-breaking turnover of £28M, and pre-tax profits of £5.7M, for the 15 month period from January 2021 to March 2022. The 15 month period is due to the change in its financial year end, to coincide with the tax year. All areas of the business showed considerable growth from Rights, Digital & Audio, Frontlist and Corelist Sales.

During this time, the group paid its authors and their agents £8.9M, an increase to 32% of turnover from 25% in 2020.

Canongate’s individual turnover for the period was £24M. Alongside Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library, The Dark Remains by Ian Rankin and William McIlvanny was a standout bestseller and winner of The British Book Awards Crime and Thriller Award. Severn House maintains its publishing record with turnover for the 15 months at £3.9M, with Candace Robb’s A Conspiracy of Wolves a key title.

There have been some recent changes to the make-up of Canongate’s board. Whilst remaining the company’s major shareholder, Jennie Bland resigned from the board in November 2021 to coincide with her retirement. Charles McVeigh, a founding shareholder, sold his shares back to Canongate in July 2022, and his son, Charlie McVeigh, subsequently stepped off the Canongate board.  David Young, Canongate’s Chair, and the five executive board directors (Jamie Byng, Kate Gibb, Caroline Gorham, Francis Bickmore and Jenny Fry) are looking to further strengthen and diversify the board, with a search for new members now underway.

Speaking on the company’s success, CEO Jamie Byng said:

“On the back of what was a record-breaking year in 2020, it is thrilling to be posting in the financial year ending March 31st 2022 the best results that Canongate has ever delivered.  What makes it especially gratifying is that we saw sizeable growth in every part of the business, and this is a direct result of the dedication, hard work and brilliance of my colleagues coupled with the exceptional books that our unique roster of authors have written. Publishing is never predictable, but the consistent quality of our highly focussed publishing has delivered again, and I hope we can maintain this momentum in the coming year, in spite of the many challenges we all face.”

Above: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig; The Dark Remains by William McIlvanney and Ian Rankin; A Conspiracy of Wolves by Candace Robb; and The Book of Form & Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki.