Bloomsbury Publishing, which has been hanging on to Harry Potter’s soaring broomstick for nearly two decades now, isn’t letting go any time soon.
The company reported an eight per cent rise in pre-tax profits last year following a 133 per cent surge in sales of Harry Potter books.
The rise has been put down to a new illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, as well as renewed interest ahead of the publication of the latest instalment this summer.
Over one million copies of the illustrated edition have been sold, while fans are already placing orders for upcoming instalment, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, in July – a stage play that will be released in book form.
The group's revenues grew to £123.7m, up 11 per cent, in the year to the end of February, with pre-tax profits coming in at £13m.
Bloomsbury has also unveiled plans for a overhaul of its business, growing its non-consumer division over the next five years.
Bloomsbury 2020, the London-listed company's strategy to pull in a larger share of the $5bn (£3.4bn) market for academic texts, will in fact run through to 2021/22.
But despite picking up military history publisher Osprey in 2014 acquisitions are not part of this plan.
“We’re going to focus on organic growth,” chief executive Nigel Newton told City A.M. "The 2020 plan is not about acquisitions."
Digital earnings climbed strongly over the last year, up 24 per cent, though revenues coming from academic texts was lower than expected at £32.7m.
Despite this plan to build its non-consumer business Bloomsbury is not giving up its staple of consumer titles.
"We think our latest star writer, Sarah J Maas, will drive revenue for Bloomsbury over the next two decades in the same way J K Rowling has over recent years," Wendy Pallot, group finance director, said.
Maas has recently topped one of the New York Times best sellers lists for the second week running for her young adult novel A Court of Mist and Fury.
Harry Potter sales will continue to drive revenue for some time however. There are plenty of future editions possible, including the remainder of the series to be illustrated.
An illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is expected within the next year.