London Evening Standard – Bloomsbury feasts on Tom Kerridge’s pub food book success

With his voluptuous curves and penchant for wearing black, chef Tom Kerridge could be the new Nigella Lawson, judging by sales of his debut book Proper Pub Food, which are close to 250,000.

Nigel Newton, chief executive of publisher Bloomsbury, said: “He caught a wave. People crave this rich pub food that isn’t chosen for its greenness and the delicacy of its ingredients.”

Kerridge helped Bloomsbury’s adult division to have a “spectacular” year, with group sales up 11% to £109.5 million.

Other top sellers were Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed and the 150th edition of Wisden’s Cricketers’ Almanack, which had record sales.

Newton claimed Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury was benefiting from a “perfect mix” as its expanded academic and professional arm brings in stable revenues to balance less predictable but potentially “explosive” consumer sales.

“It is possibly dangerous to be publicly listed and fully exposed to the consumer market,” he said, noting rival Quercus had to be sold.

Digital sales rose 21% to £12.2 million, yet kids’ book sales were up a fifth in print. Pre-tax profit fell slightly to £9.5 million but rose 4% before exceptionals.