Harry Potter publisher earns bumper profit of over 240 percent

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Washington, Apr.1 : The final instalment in the Harry Potter series has helped publisher Bloomsbury earn a bumper profit of 17.86 million pounds in 2007, a 243.5 per cent increase from last year.

For the year ending December 31, 2007, pre-tax profit improved 243.5 per cent to 17.86 million pounds from 5.20 million pounds in 2006, on turnover of 150.21 million pounds.

Revenue in the company's children's division increased 261.4 per cent to 98.92 million pounds, mainly due to sales of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, published in July 2007.

The book sold 2.65 million copies on the first day of release in the UK alone, Bloomsbury said.

Strong sales of Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns also helped boost profits, the company added.

For 2008, Bloomsbury said sales in the first quarter have been encouraging and a major agreement just signed with Microsoft to digitise Bloomsbury's entire backlist will enable e-book sales and print on demand orders.

The paperback edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be published in July, the publisher added.

The board is recommending a final dividend of 3.3p per share, making a total of 4p per share for the year, a 9.3 per cent increase in the full year dividend from 2006.

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