- Independent publisher Bloomsbury proposed to settle its final dividend in shares rather than cash and reported a 10% rise in profit, led by solid performance in its non-consumer division.

After announcing that it would not be paying a cash dividend, the company said it now proposed, subject to shareholder proposal, that the dividend would instead be settled through the issuance of shares, with a value equivalent to the proposed final dividend.

For the year ended 29 February 2020, pre-tax profit rose 10% to £13.2m, while revenue was flat at £162.8m as the impact of coronavirus dented Chinese sales in January and February.

The non-consumer division delivered pre-tax profit growth of 85% to £6.7m, with revenue growth of 32% from Bloomsbury digital resources, which moved into profit for the year.

'April 2020 year-to-date revenue is 3% below last year, with print revenues at 87% of last year's sales and academic digital revenues up over 52% year-on-year,' the company said.

'There is no immediate certainty around the severity and duration of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our business and therefore the Board is unable to provide guidance for the year ending 28 February 2021 at this time,' it added.

At 9:01am: [LON:BMY] Bloomsbury Publishing PLC share price was -2.5p at 208.5p

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