Usborne Books Wins UK Private Business Of the Year Award

Peter Usborne


Usborne Books has been given the Private Business of the Year award by the UK Private Business Awards. With more than 2,000 nominations, the UK Private Business Awards have continued to grow, attracting almost double the number of entries received in 2014.

Now five years old, the awards were set up at a time of economic uncertainty to recognise outstanding privately owned businesses in the UK. There are 10 different categories, allowing the judges to focus on enterprises of different sizes and approach.

“Private business is a major engine of the UK economy, driving growth, jobs and wealth creation. We need to celebrate this,” says Charlie Hoffman, managing director at HSBC Private Bank (UK), who led the judging panel.

Others shortlisted in the Private Business of the Year category were Argus Media, BrewDog and Kelway.

Mr Hoffman says the flagship award is always hard to choose, but this year was particularly difficult. “You have to be the best of the best,” says Mr Hoffman. “Yet who can ignore Peter Usborne?”

Mr Usborne, 78, has led Usborne Publishing for more than 40 years. The company has become the UK’s largest independent children’s book publisher by sales. From baby books to young adult novels, there are now more than 2,600 Usborne books in print in the UK.

“The decision to nurture in-house editors and designers has been a very successful strategy for Usborne over the years,” says Anna Howorth, marketing and publicity manager.

The company has retained copyright on the vast majority of its books, allowing it to maximise and reinvest profits. Turnover increased from £40.3m in 2011 to £50.5m in 2014.

“The sector often doesn’t receive the recognition or coverage commensurate to its economic and social contribution. These awards and the related publicity go some way to addressing this,” says Ruby Parmar, a partner at PwC who served on the judging panel.


Get more information, facts and figures about Usborne Books, click here for the Usborne Books overview.

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