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Potter publisher profit up
March 28, 2001: 10:04 a.m. ET

Bloomsbury says Harry Potter books helped profit more than double
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LONDON (CNN) - Bloomsbury, the British publisher of the hugely popular Harry Potter books, said Wednesday its full-year profit more than doubled.

graphicThe company said net profit rose to £3.7 million ($5.3 million), or 22.78 pence a share, from £1.8 million, or 13.18 pence a share a year ago. Sales soared 153 percent to £50.7 million.

Boy wizard Harry Potter, a hit with both adult and children, broke more records with the launch of the latest book, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," which notched up the accolade of the fastest-selling book in history.

"I don't think the magic will wear off. This is a real classic that has all the ingredients as a C.S. Lewis or Roald Dahl that sells as many books as they did 50 years ago," Nigel Newton, Bloomsbury chairman, told CNN.

Bloomsbury (BMY) shares rose 0.7 percent to 722 pence in London afternoon trade, bringing its market value to £121 million.

There was more success for the award-wining publisher. Joanna Trollope's "Marrying the Mistress" also broke sales records and "The Blind Assassin," a novel by Margaret Atwood, won Britain's top literary award, the Booker Prize.

Bloomsbury said Harry Potter is a long-term asset that will "continue to generate significant earnings well into the future" with the release of a film about the first book in the series.

Warner Bros. Studios, owned by CNN's parent company AOL Time Warner (AOL: Research, Estimates), is producing the movie. graphic