A STROUD publisher is heralding a return to profitability after it was bought out last year.

The History Press, which has offices in Brimscombe Port, has published its first annual results since a new ownership deal in March 2017, revealing it is back in the green.

Operating profit for the year to the end of December 2017 was £207,000, up from a loss of £48,000 in 2016.

Aside from releasing hits in 2017 like Shrabani Basu’s history of Victoria and Abdul which was released as a Hollywood film, the team behind the buyout credit their efforts fixing the publisher’s debt problem.

"All three of us in the management buyout are pleased with our progress so far,” said managing director Gareth Swain, who, along with publishing director Laura Perehinec and sales director Jamie Kinnear, bought The History Press from its owner of ten years Octopus Investments.

“We have been able to stabilise the business financially and capitalise on the publishing projects we inherited."

As a result of their efforts, the company's earnings before interest and tax were £7.7m, up from a loss of £1.6m in 2016.

One caveat to the positive results is revenue.

It was down 14% to £3.451m for the year, but Mr Swain attributes this to the publisher selling off its Pitkin list to Pavilion Books.

Looking ahead, the team feels optimistic about the future.

"Understanding and engagement with history appears to be increasingly important against a backdrop of political uncertainty,” Mr Swain explained.

“The History Press intends to play its part in the debate and we are looking forward to injecting some of our own personalities into the forward publishing programme.

Releases from The History Press in 2018 include Siobhan Ferguson’s Pretty City London, Arthur Parkinson’s Pottery Gardener and Derek Taylor’s Fayke Newes.

It is also sponsoring Gloucester History Festival and the Women’s History Network community history prize.