During the first quarter of 2021 developments of 2020 continued: To date our print book sales are under pressure and our eBusiness is thriving.
At the start of the year we saw a relatively sharp decline in our print book sales due to Brexit uncertainties and customer preference for eBooks. Many customers, particularly in the US, continue to favor eBooks over print as access to physical library collections remains challenging. The new Brexit rules and tax implications were unclear for our customers in the rest of the world, which in combination with the initial chaos at UK customs led to a delay in ordering. Later in the quarter the situation improved and we saw a recovery of our print book sales.
Journal renewals were slightly delayed but subscriptions remain stable in comparison with previous years.
The vast majority of our global staff is still working from home. As our authors and trade partners have all adapted to the COVID-19 restrictions, it is business as usual in terms of copy flow, content acquisition, output and sales activities.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic Brill maintains its strict cost management policies, which led again to savings in our operational costs, travel expenses and costs for academic conferences. Other cost lines developed as expected.
As a next step in our digital transformation, we strengthened our management organization by appointing a VP Technology as per the start of Q2.
After the acquisition of Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Verlage (V&R) at the end of February 2021, we implemented an integration program in March, which runs according to plan.
As communicated in our press release of March 25, 2021, the AGM will take place online via a webcast on Wednesday 19 May, 2021 at 14.00. The convocation notice, agenda and voting instruction form can be downloaded on https://brill.com/page/InvestorRelations/investor-relations.
During the Annual General Meeting (AGM) a dividend over 2020 of € 1.25 in cash per certificate will be proposed.
Olivier de Vlam
On April 6, 2021 our CFO, Olivier de Vlam passed away after having been seriously ill since October 2020. Olivier joined Brill in 2015 and was appointed as CFO in May 2018. He made significant contributions to our long-term strategy, the development of our online platform Brill.com and to our expansion in Germany and the recent acquisition of V&R. Olivier’s knowledge, humor and energy will be enormously missed by all his Brill colleagues.
Wim Dikstaal will continue to replace him as interim CFO. The Supervisory Board will inform the certificate holders during the upcoming AGM on the formal succession of Olivier as CFO.
Leiden, April 22, 2021
Peter Coebergh, Chief Executive Officer
[email protected] – +31 (0)6 53 57 83 25