Harry Potter

"Harry Potter works magic on UK publisher's shares"

(Reuters, November 24, 2000)

LONDON - Bloomsbury, best known for publishing the books about boy wizard Harry Potter, continued to cast a spell on investors on Friday, as an upbeat trading statement inspired a sharp rise in its shares.
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc said trading in 2000 would be "significantly ahead of market expectations," due to strong sales of Harry Potter books as well as Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood's work "The Blind Assassin," which won Britain's coveted Booker literary prize earlier this month.
"Trading is strong across the group, demonstrating the broad base of the company's activities and the benefits of our long-term investment strategy," Bloomsbury Chief Executive Nigel Newton said in a statement.
Bloomsbury in September reported well-received half-year results, turning in a pre-tax profit of 273,000 pounds ($381,800) compared with a loss of 103,000 pounds in the same period the year before.
The Harry Potter series of books -- following the adventures of the schoolboy wizard -- has been a best-selling work during this past year, catapulting its author J.K Rowling into the top ranks of Britain's highest paid women.
The young magician's popularity with adults has helped the books sell in record numbers.
Bloomsbury shares climbed 60 pence or 7.3 percent to 885p by 0940 GMT, valuing the firm at around 150 million pounds.
The stock has outperformed the FTSE All Share Media & Photography Index by about 24 percent in the last six months, and quadrupled in value in the last year and a half.