Harry Potter


"Harry weaves more magic"

("CNN News," September 26, 2001)

UK publisher profit soars on record sales of Harry Potter books

LONDON - Bloomsbury, the British publisher of the hugely popular Harry Potter books, said on Wednesday profit soared.

More than 100 million copies about the bespectacled boy wizard Harry Potter's adventures have been sold worldwide and more success is expected to flow when the Hollywood film is released on November 16.

The film is also expected to boost the coffers of AOL Time Warner (AOL: Research, Estimates), parent of this network CNN, which announced earlier this week it was lowering its 2001 earnings targets.

"The release of the first Harry Potter film on November 16 will, we believe, trigger a dramatic increase in sales as a new audience is introduced to the books," Bloomsbury Chairman Nigel Newton said.

Net profit for the six months to June 30 rose to £1.68 million, or 9.25 pence a share, from £202,000, or 1.36p a share, in the year earlier period. Sales doubled to £22.7 million.

A Scottish newspaper had said the fifth book in the adventures of Harry Potter, a hit with both adult and children, called "Harry Potter and the Order of Phonenix," had been delayed because author J.K. Rowling was suffering from writer's block. Newton denied the report saying the book would be published in July 2002.

Other Bloomsbury bestsellers this year include "The Fourth Hand" by John Irving, "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain, "The Flaneur" by Edmund White, "The Death of Vishnu" by Manil Suri and "Witch Child" by Celia Rees.

Bloomsbury's (BMY) stock, which has fallen more than 20 percent this year, rose 3.6 percent to 722.5 pence in midday London trade.