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Booktopia looks to acquisition opportunities as profits double

Pureplay Booktopia has delivered a strong year of growth in its first year as a public company, with record units shipped, revenue up 35 per cent to $223.9 million, and adjusted earnings of $13.6 million – more than double that of last year.

All of this is well ahead of where the business thought it would be when it initially listed on the ASX in December, with chief executive Tony Nash stating the result has laid the foundation for further growth in FY22.

“Our prospectus set some very ambitious targets for our first year as a listed company and I am very happy to report we have been able to eclipse those expectations,” Nash said.

“Our focus has now shifted to executing our multipronged growth strategy that will see us ramp up our market penetration, expand our reach within the book industry and lock-in new, earnings accretive partnerships and acquisitions.”

During FY21 Booktopia made a number of new partnerships, such as a deal with Brio Books in May to help its inhouse publishing and edtech provider Zookai in April to expand its academic range, as well as a partnership with UK-based publisher Welbeck for a new joint venture in Australia and New Zealand.

And, Nash confirmed the business is eagerly looking at new bolt-on acquisitive opportunities to further enhance Booktopia’s infrastructure.

“Bolt-on opportunities, whether through acquisition or partnership, provide a clear path to supercharging our growth over the next few years and if we see an opportunity that provides the right benefits, at the right price, we will pursue it,” Nash said.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a positive impact on the publishing industry, with people trapped at home picking up new ways to engage and entertain themselves.

According to Nash, the Australian book industry is forecast to generate more than $2.6 billion this year, and that, despite the size of that pie, Booktopia is looking at opportunities to expand into new markets – if there is an attractive option.

“Our intent is to be the core of the book industry, locally and internationally,” Nash said.

“We will continue our growth strategy, investing into key areas of the business to cement our online market leadership and drive increased market share with an ongoing ‘customer obsession’ mindset to ensure our engagement and service is second to none.”

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