Potter gone but Bloomsbury remains magic

HARRY Potter publisher Bloomsbury yesterday showed that it can survive perfectly well without the impact of its most famous titles, as it posted a 16 per cent rise in pre-tax profits.

The company saw revenues grow modestly in the year to March, as many years of bumper sales from the Potter books and films dwindled, but a focus on higher-margin textbooks boosted pre-tax profits, which were up to £9.8m.

Meanwhile, the company’s ebook sales were up 61 per cent year-on-year, making up around a tenth of all revenues. “In our strategy for growth we are targeting 50 per cent of profit to be digital within five years,” Bloomsbury chief executive Nigel Newton said.

Cookery books, in particular TV chef Paul Hollywood’s How To Bake, were also a big seller.

Shares closed up 5.2 per cent yesterday.