Harry Potter publisher boosts earnings view as lockdown reading casts a spell

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A store assistant holds copies of the book of the play of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child parts One and Two at a bookstore in London, Britain July 31, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall

(Reuters) – London-based Bloomsbury Publishing declared a special dividend and posted a 22% surge in annual earnings on Wednesday, as people turned to books during COVID-19 lockdowns.

The Harry Potter publisher, which also expects current-year results to be ahead of market estimates, said profit before taxation and highlighted items rose to 19.2 million pounds ($27.17 million) in the 12 months to Feb. 28 from 15.7 million pounds a year earlier.

($1 = 0.7066 pounds)

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