PUBLISHER Bloomsbury is set to benefit from more Harry Potter magic, it said today.
Pre-orders for the sixth book in the Harry Potter series have "substantially exceeded" expectations, the company said today.
The latest instalment - called Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - is not due for release until July 16. But it already looks certain to build on the phenomenal success of previous titles from author JK Rowling.
Bloomsbury did not disclose sales figures, but said demand for the forthcoming hardback release would contribute to 2005 profits far higher than expected.
Bloomsbury said it was now forecasting profits of at least £20m compared with the £18m figure predicted by analysts.
Bloomsbury also announced results for 2004 today. Despite the lack o a new Harry Potter title last year, pre-tax profits rose by 6.9% to £16.4m.
Bloomsbury said its performance had been buoyed by number one best-sellers in the world's three largest book markets during 2004 - Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell in the USA, The Two of Us by Sheila Hancock in the UK and Schott's Original Miscellany in Germany.
Bloomsbury promised "significant progress" this year with new titles from John Irving and Ben Schott and paperback versions of some of its best-sellers likely to add to the profits boost from the Harry Potter release.