Bloomsbury hopeful of strong Christmas

Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury said today it was looking to books such as the biography of US investment guru Warren Buffett to help drive sales in the run-up to Christmas.

The firm also picked out the latest book from actor John Thaw’s widow Sheila Hancock to be a strong festive performer.

Bloomsbury said that the relative low price of books would help insulate the business from the credit crisis and the looming economic downturn.

It said: “Whilst the impact of the credit crisis will be far reaching in the global economy over the coming months, the group nevertheless has a strong publishing programme in the lead up to Christmas and we are confident that, with their relatively low retail prices, books will continue to be in demand.”

Buffett’s biography, called 'The Snowball', immediately topped online retailer Amazon’s bestseller chart after being released a fortnight ago.

Bloomsbury said other big Christmas titles are set to include 'Ben Schott’s Almanac 2009' and Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal’s 'Big Fat Duck Cookbook'.

In the group’s trading update for the three months to September 30, it said it had performed in line with expectations during the period.

Khaled Hosseini’s best-sellers 'The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns', which have sold more than four million copies, underpinned a 34% rise in adult sales to £20.5m (€26.33m) during the first half this year.

Bloomsbury’s shares were up nearly 1% today.


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