Summer boost for Bloomsbury sales


Matt Williams
Thursday 03 November 2011 19:18

Resurgent Potter-mania and the growth of downloadable summer reading has resulted in a boost to sales for Bloomsbury, the publisher said today.

The group noted "significant improvement" in sales throughout July and early August, due in part to strong e-book performance during the holiday season.

High street sales were also good, the publisher said, bolstered by the film release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part Two.

The final movie instalment of the boy wizard's adventures resulted in a surge in sales for all seven books in the series.

At Bloomsbury's AGM today, chief executive Nigel Newton highlighted other recent successes for the group, including Frank Dikotter's Mao's Great Famine, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.

Stephen Kelman's Pigeon English has also been included on the long-list for the prestigious Man Booker Prize.

Bloomsbury edition sales of last year's winner, Howard Jacobson's The Finkler Question, have now topped 700,000 worldwide, the publisher said.

Today's encouraging words from the publisher's chief executive come a month after the company warned that it remained cautious over current trading due to "difficult prevailing conditions".

At today's AGM, Mr Newton also announced details of a new deal with legal know-how firm Practical Law Company.

Under the agreement, Bloomsbury will provide data to the desk tops of major law firms and corporate legal departments, Mr Newton said.

He added: "The deal announced today with Practical Law Company is another example of our ability to benefit from a significant and growing presence in the academic and professional market which will bring us more consistent and stable earnings."

The latest tie-up follows news last month of Bloomsbury's acquisition of Continuum, an academic publisher specialising in theology and philosophy.

The £20.1 million purchase was described today by Mr Newton as a "transformational deal" for the publisher.

Based in London and New York, Continuum has an academic list which dates back over 170 years and includes the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.


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