Blackwell Publishers, which produces textbooks and journals in the social sciences and humanities, has seen its profits rise dramatically over the last few years as it has increased its focus on specialist journals. Journals have a higher margin than textbooks and this arm now makes up around two thirds of the company’s business. Driven by current managing director Rene Olivieri, the Oxford-based company has also mounted a major sales drive in the US, where margins are higher. Around 50% of sales are now derived from this market. Company profits have increased by 59% pa, from £1.6m in 1995 to £6.5m in 1998, while sales increased by 12% pa in the same period to reach £31.5m. The Blackwell family retains a stake in Blackwell Publishers, the bookselling chain Blackwell Ltd, and Blackwell Science, which is also a publishing company. The three companies are run independently of each other.
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