What now for Harry Potter publisher?

Stephen Beard Apr 2, 2008

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: The publisher of the Harry Potter books just turned in a fantastic profit report for last year. But Bloomsbury doesn’t have any more Harry Potter books to publish. So what now? Stephen Beard reports from London.


Steven Beard: Harry Potter’s farewell flourish has worked its magic on Bloomsbury’s bottom line. The last book in the series helped double the company’s revenues last year to $300 million.

The teenage wizard has delivered bumper profits for the firm since the first book a decade ago. He’s earned the author J.K. Rowling an estimated $1 billion. Bloomsbury’s CEO is putting a brave face on Harry’s departure. He says the company is well-positioned for the post-Potter era.

Ben Fenton of the Financial Times says revenues will certainly be more stable:

Ben Fenton: You know, the profits graph for Bloomsbury over recent years has kind of resembled the track of an out-of-control wizard on a very powerful broomstick. Up and down, and up and down.

Bloomsbury’s new titles are not likely to have the Potter effect. There’s a biography of Warren Buffet and a series of financial reference books for one of the Gulf States.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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