Quercus, the independent publisher behind Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, yesterday announced an eight-fold surge in profits to a record £7.5m. Quercus chief executive Mark Smith is building on the success of Stieg Larsson's books – known as the Millennium Trilogy. Smith, who co-founded Quercus in 2004, is paying a first-ever dividend of 5p and a further one-off dividend of 7p. He has also signed up Susan Watt, the HarperCollins publishing director who commissioned Jeremy Paxman, Boris Johnson and Conn and Hal Iggulden’s Dangerous Book For Boys, to launch her own Quercus imprint, Heron Books. The company is taking on 40 more staff.