Scholium Group plc
(“Scholium” or, together with its subsidiaries, the “Group”)
16 October 2014
The directors of Scholium are pleased to provide an update for the market on the Group’s performance for the six months ended 30 September 2014 ahead of the Group’s interim statement that will be released in late November.
Shapero Rare Books
Sales of own stock were ahead of the corresponding period last year, whilst the one-off consignment commissions did not recur. Gross profit margins on owned stock also increased in the first half reflecting the continuing emphasis on the shift to higher quality books. The main focus, since the Group’s IPO in March 2014 has been positioning the business for the significant selling season in the second half of the year and putting in place the infrastructure for future growth. Consistent with these goals Shapero Rare Books has increased its stock significantly, to approximately £6.2 million at the period end, with a number of noteworthy acquisitions.
The first half of the year was productive for Scholium Trading. Although this activity began more slowly than anticipated, it has been pleasing to note that the stock turn on trades completed has been better than expected. Scholium Trading earned its first profit in the period under review, with a return of 10% over a period of 2 months. Since the period end, two further profitable sales have been completed. Having spent considerable time developing relationships with dealers, we expect that activity will substantially increase in the second half of the financial year and beyond.
South Kensington Operations
Our South Kensington operations, albeit small, have shown accelerated growth in sales, margin and profitability and are strongly cash positive. Increased footfall has helped retail sales and some high profile hotel contract wins, both in London and overseas, have also driven sales. We launched a new private library business in the summer and it is starting to gain traction.
We look forward to the busy selling season in the second half of the year with optimism, strong levels of quality stock and a firm pipeline of selling opportunities.
Scholium Group plc
Philip Blackwell, Chief Executive Officer
Simon Southwood, Chief Financial Officer
+44 (0)20 7493 0876
WH Ireland Ltd – Nominated Adviser
Chris Fielding / Mark Leonard
+44 (0)20 7220 1666
Whitman Howard Ltd – Broker
Ranald McGregor-Smith / Niall Devins
+44 (0)20 7087 4550
Notes to Editors
Scholium Group plc is the holding company for a group of companies involved in the retail and trade of rare books, works on paper and fine art.
Shapero Rare Books
Shapero Rare Books was founded in 1979, is a dealer in rare and antiquarian books and works on paper. This includes maps of historic importance, vintage photographs and decorative and artistic prints. Mr Shapero is a well-known and established international dealer in rare books and maps. He developed his expertise from an initial focus on travel and illustrated books into a broad spectrum of rare and collectible works.
The management of Shapero Rare Books has experience in acquiring large consignments of rare and historically important antiquarian books for sale to an international client base. The business has operated since 1996 from its current leasehold premises in St George Street, Mayfair, London.
Scholium Trading acquires and trades in the wider market for rare and collectible goods alongside other specialist dealers.
South Kensington Books and Ultimate Library
South Kensington Books is the current trading name of a bookshop that has been operating from leasehold premises in Thurloe Street, South Kensington, London for several decades and which specialises in books valued at up to £150 in visual arts, architecture and photography.
Ultimate Library, which operates from the same premises, creates bespoke libraries on behalf of luxury hotels and resorts, and high-end personal residences around the world