Harry Potter boosts profits for publisher


Harry Potter boosts profits for publisher
The final instalment in the Harry Potter series helped publisher Bloomsbury to a bumper profit of £17.86 million in 2007, a 243.5 per cent increase from last year.

For the year ending December 31st 2007, pre-tax profit improved 243.5 per cent to £17.86 million from £5.20 million in 2006, on turnover of £150.21 million.

Revenue in the company's children's division increased 261.4 per cent to £98.92 million, mainly due to sales of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, published in July 2007.

The book sold 2.65 million copies on the first day of release in the UK alone, Bloomsbury said.

Strong sales of Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns also helped boost profits, the company added.

Nigel Newton, chief executive, said: "We are now well positioned for the post Harry Potter era. We have reduced overhead costs, are successfully developing new business areas in specialist publishing, and have a strong pipeline of titles.

"We will continue to do what Bloomsbury does best - discovering new talent and developing it both in the UK and overseas."

For 2008, Bloomsbury said sales in the first quarter have been encouraging and a major agreement just signed with Microsoft to digitise Bloomsbury's entire backlist will enable e-book sales and print on demand orders.

The paperback edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be published in July, the publisher added.

The board is recommending a final dividend of 3.3p per share, making a total of 4p per share for the year, a 9.3 per cent increase in the full year dividend from 2006.

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