Bloomsbury sees no end to magic spell
Wednesday 10 September 2003
Bloomsbury, publisher of the Harry Potter books, said yesterday it was confident the diminutive wizard would continue to work his magic on the company's revenues.
The upbeat statement contradicted cynics' view that the magic of JK Rowling's books might be wearing off both on readers and the City, as the company unveiled a 14 per cent rise in first-half profit to £3.56m.
Nigel Newton, chairman of Bloomsbury, said the fifth Harry Potter book, The Order of the Phoenix, launched on 21 June, may have broken a raft of publishing records but its success had been no more and no less than the company had anticipated.
Bloomsbury confirmed Ms Rowling would deliver two more Harry Potter books and that there would be more films to follow the two Hollywood blockbusters already released. The company added that the latest book had helped increase sales of the previous four books in the series.
Mr Newton said: "The level of interest in the series is unprecedented and underlines that it will provide significant revenues for the group for many years to come."
Sales rose 18 per cent in the six months to 30 June, a period which took in only 10 days' sales of the latest Potter phenomenon.
The Order of the Phoenix sold 1.77 million copies on its first day, almost five times as many as the first-day sales of Ms Rowling's fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, released in July 2000, and it has been at the top of the bestsellers' lists since.
"Sales of the books are in line with our expectations. But we have learnt to have high expectations," Mr Newton said.
Analysts said the numbers were at the higher end of expectations, in part due to progress it has made at its German business, Berlin Verlag, which it acquired earlier this year. Malcolm Morgan at Investec raised his forecast for 2004 pre-tax profit by 10 per cent to £15.4m, while leaving his 2003 forecast unchanged at £15.1m.
Bloomsbury's shares have doubled in the past 12 months and increased eightfold over the past five years. Yesterday they closed down 12.5p to 252p.
- 1 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 2 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 3 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...
£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...