Headline Publishing rises 60%

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The Independent Online
HEADLINE Book Publishing defied the recession with a 60 per cent increase in first-half taxable profits to pounds 604,000 on sales 20 per cent ahead at pounds 5.3m. The interim dividend was raised to 1.5p from 0.5p.

Worldwide sales through impulse-purchase outlets such as supermarkets and newsagents were weak, but demand from booksellers and book clubs more than compensated, the company said.

Publishing sales in July and August were an impressive 34 per cent ahead of the same period a year earlier, even though trading last summer was good, according to Tim Hely Hutchinson, managing director.

August was boosted by the inclusion of titles acquired from the administrators of Macdonald, formerly part of Robert Maxwell's empire. Headline bought 34 titles. Trading has continued well, with 54 new titles launched this month.

The shares rose 9p to 186p.