Harry Potter publisher books bumper online sales

Ben Woods
·2-min read
Harry Potter books
Harry Potter books

A run of best-sellers on racial equality helped the publisher behind Harry Potter post bumper sales and profits as Black Lives Matter protests raged across the US and UK. 

Customers rushed to buy titles from Bloomsbury including Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge and White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide  by Carol Anderson, pushing its pre-tax profits up to £3m for the six months to August - more than double the £1.3m the firm made a year earlier.

A jump in demand for e-books during lockdown also helped drive revenues 10pc higher to £78m for the period.

Investors cheered the better-than-expected results, sending shares up 13pc to 238p in the wake of the update. It was Bloomsbury's highest first-half profit since 2008.

Chief executive Nigel Newton said a strong performance across the business, coupled with efforts to control costs, had delivered excellent trading in the first half of the year. 

He said: "The strength of our financial position meant that we continued to operate effectively, invest in new content, and build a strong pipeline of authors and titles. 

"Bloomsbury is well positioned for the future, with sufficient working capital and significant headroom for acquisitions opportunities."

Markets Hub - Bloomsbury Publishing
Markets Hub - Bloomsbury Publishing

Bloomsbury, which was founded by Mr Newton 34 years ago, has enjoyed a steady income stream due to the runaway success of JK Rowling's Harry Potter series. 

It said sales of the books detailing Potter's Hogwarts escapades remains robust, with consumer revenues up 17pc to £48.6m for the six months. 

An effort to shift towards selling online academic resources is also paying off, as sales at the Bloomsbury Digital Resources division rose 47pc to £5.6m. 

Non-consumer revenues remained flat at £29.7m as Bloomsbury continued to grapple with the waning popularity of print academic books.