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Friday, 24 November, 2000, 11:48 GMT
Magic sales for Bloomsbury
kids in potter film
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint: Stars of the Harry Potter movie
Can it get any better for Bloomsbury, the publishers of the much-hyped Harry Potter books and "The Blind Assassin", Margaret Atwood's Booker prize-winning novel.

They have announced that trading for the group for this year will be "significantly ahead" of market expectations.

Pre-tax profits are expected to be in the region of 5.5m, compared with last year's figure of 2.6m.

j k rowling
Potter creator: JK Rowling

Much of this success has been conjured up by Harry Potter.

Stories about the boy wizard shot up worldwide bestsellers lists on the day of its release and has broken all sales records for a children's book.

It has also catapulted its author JK Rowling to fame - she is now one of the UK's top earners.

Potter mania

So far, more than 30 million copies of the Potter book have been sold worldwide, translated into 28 languages, and there are still three more in the pipeline.

When the fourth adventure "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" came out in the summer, bookshops in the UK and the States were beseiged by children wanting to get their hands on a copy.

Part of the book's success has been that it is popular with adults, too.

A Warner Brothers film about the boy with magical powers is also due to be released, so the Potter bandwagon will no doubt roll into next year and beyond.

Booker-prize winner

Bloomsbury also happens to be the publishers of Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood's "The Blind Assassin", which won the coveted Booker Prize.

"The success of 'The Blind Assassin' is especially significant as it will drive the sales of her previous titles," said Nigel Newton, the company's chief executive.

In September, Bloomsbury reported upbeat half-year results, turning in a pre-tax profit of 273,000, compared with a loss of 103,000 in the same period the year before.

The company's shares climbed 60p to 885p in early trading Friday, valuing the firm at about 150m.

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See also:

23 Nov 00 | Scotland
University honours Potter author
18 Nov 00 | Scotland
Rowling heads rich list
29 Sep 00 | Business
Harry Potter works publishing magic
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