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Thursday, 17 January, 2002, 13:45 GMT
Bloomsbury set for wizard profits
Harry Potter book
Harry Potter book sales were boosted by the release of the film
Bloomsbury, publisher of the best-selling Harry Potter books, has said profits are set to beat expectations thanks to sales of the boy wizard's adventures.

The firm said sales of the books had received a further boost by the release of the first Harry Potter film before Christmas.

But it added that sales had been strong across a range of titles, and at its subsidiary A&C Black, publisher of Who's Who.

Meanwhile the computer games maker Argonaut has said strong sales of the Harry Potter computer game has set the firm on target to meet income forecasts.

'Extraordinary sales'

Before the Harry Potter film was released Bloomsbury had sold about 130 million of the books worldwide.

The boost provided by the film's release on sales had been "absolutely tremendous" Bloomsbury chairman Nigel Newton told BBC News Online.

The film "drove extraordinary sales" in the four weeks between its release and Christmas, Mr Newton said.

Bloomsbury said its US business had also seen better than expected sales of the books Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour, which describe the culinary adventures of Anthony Bourdain.

Other big sellers during 2001 included John Irving's The Fourth Hand and Edmund White's The Flaneur.

Chart-topper

The Harry Potter phenomenon has also proved a boon for the computer games maker Argonaut.

In a trading update it said strong sales of its Harry Potter game meant it was "confident" of meeting its royalty expectations for the year.

Argonaut said the computer game had been at number one in the UK PlayStation charts every week since its release in November, and added that "anecdotal evidence points to the game being a hit all around the world."

It said it was now developing a second Harry Potter game.

Argonaut shares stood 2p firmer at 50p in afternoon trade on Thursday.

Bloomsbury stock was up 36.5p at 805p.

See also:

26 Sep 01 | Business
Harry Potter brings wizard sales
24 Sep 01 | Film
Toy shop bans Harry Potter
28 Mar 01 | Business
Harry Potter and the profit hike
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