Harry Potter continues to be the boy who lives (up to expectations) for Bloomsbury Publishing.
Nearly 20 years after the company first published JK Rowling’s Philosopher’s Stone, the series continues to do the business for Bloomsbury.
Total revenues in the six months to 31 August were up 19 per cent year-on-year, from £52.7m to £62.7m. Shares in the company were three per cent to 153p at the time of writing.
Turnover in its consumer division was up 36 per cent, from £27.5m to £37.3m, boosted by the children’s sales, which were up 63 per cent to £23.9m.
Harry Potter enjoyed continued success during the period, which saw the high-profile launch of a West End play, The Cursed Child.
Bloomsbury also released a new illustrated edition of Rowling’s first book, the Philosopher’s Stone. The Chamber of Secrets followed this month, and the plan is for each of the seven books to be released in the same format.
Then, next July, there will be new editions of the Philosopher’s Stone to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
Asked how long the Harry Potter enchantment can go on, chief executive Nigel Newton told City A.M.: “Harry Potter is clearly a classic. And so just as Winnie the Pooh and Lord of the Rings and other great British classics written a long time ago continue to do extremely well today, I’m sure Harry Potter will be exactly the same.”
Newton also highlighted Sarah J Maas, a young adult fantasy writer from the US, as a “writer of great importance”. Her revenues grew 101 per cent during the period.
Despite Bloomsbury’s revenue growth, adjusted pre-tax profit fell from £1.9m to £1.5m. Newton put this down to the termination of a seven-year contract with the Qatar Foundation, which ended last December.
Elsewhere, non-consumer revenues came in at £25.4m, up from £25.2m. Within this division, academic and professional digital resources revenue was £2m, up from £1m.
Total digital revenues were up eight per cent to £7.7m, while print revenues were £51.7m, up 25 per cent.