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Friday, 29 September, 2000, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Harry Potter works publishing magic
Amazon.co.uk warehouse
Online book retailers have been busy processing orders for the latest Harry Potter
Boy wizard Harry Potter has conjured up a healthy jump in sales and profits at publishing house Bloomsbury.

The independent group reported half year profits of 273,000, compared to losses of 103,000 for the same period a year earlier. Turnover was up 78%.

And JK Rowling's tales of schoolboy sorcery are set to boost the company's second half profits even further, with sales of the fourth book in the series. 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' launched in July with a record print run of 1.5m copies.

The Harry Potter books have become the publishing success story of the decade, so far selling more than 35m copies worldwide.

Other titles

"It (Harry Potter) has had a tremendous impact - it's been absolutely enormous," Bloomsbury Chief Executive Nigel Newton said.

However, the publisher was keen to stress that JK Rowling was not Bloomsbury's only profit source.

JK Rowling
Author Joanne Kathleen Rowling
A strong list of new books such as Joanna Trollope's 'Marrying the Mistress' and Michael Ondaatje's 'Anil's Ghost', his first novel since 'The English Patient', had also lifted turnover.

Newton said an increased focus on perennial sellers such as reference books, better sales of backlists such as paperbacks and a concerted effort to bring out high-impact authors' books earlier in the year helped break the tradition of first half losses.

"Business is very geared to the Christmas market and we've been trying to iron that cycle out for several years and that's coming to fruition," he added.

Shares in Bloomsbury went up by 1.49% to 850 pence at 0830 GMT.

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