Pottermore Expects Return to Profit After Posting Narrowed Annual Loss

JK Rowling - Getty - H 2016
Getty Images

JK Rowling - Getty - H 2016

"The new strategic plan is not only driving increased revenue, but is also putting us on the path to profitability," says Susan Jurevics, CEO of J.K. Rowling's company.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's Pottermore said Tuesday that it expects to return to profitability in its current fiscal year, which runs through the end of March, after two years of losses.  

The privately held company, launched in 2012, didn't forecast specific figures for its current fiscal year. 

Pottermore recorded revenue for the fiscal year, which ended in March 2016, of ‎£15.1 million, which translates to $18.8 million, more than double the year-ago figure of £7.0 million. Its pretax loss narrowed to ‎£4.9 million pounds, or $6.1 million, from ‎£6.0 million amid the higher revenue.

The company said it posted another full-year loss as it "continued to invest retained profits accumulated in prior years in the business in line with the strategic plan." For the fiscal year that ended in March 2014, Pottermore had posted a profit of £14.9 million.

Investments in the fiscal year ending this past March included "the repositioning and rebuild of fan site pottermore.com, the redevelopment of Pottermore’s e-commerce offering and new product development initiatives, such as new editions of the original Harry Potter titles and the Pottermore Presents series of e-book shorts," which launched in September.

The company also added audio books last November. Last week, it made available its latest product, Rowling's screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. In July, Pottermore launched the script e-book of plays Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, which became an immediate best-seller. 

Another key driver of Pottermore's financials this fiscal year is a change of strategy last year that led the company to also sell its products through such online partners as Amazon.com, Apple, Amazon's Audible audio book arm, Barnes & Noble and Google.

"The shift in Pottermore’s commercial business strategy — working more closely with key business partners — that we began executing in the second half of 2015 has paid off," said Pottermore CEO Susan Jurevics. "The new strategic plan is not only driving increased revenue, but is also putting us on the path to profitability for our financial year ending in March 2017."

She added: "Working with our franchise partners, we continue to look at opportunities to further innovate and extend the reach of our digital channels in order to broaden and deepen engagement with our worldwide fan base.”