Bloomsbury reaps rewards of author-based ESG

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A visitor browses books in Cairo, Egypt, February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bloomsbury Publishing is preparing for the day Harry Potter loses his powers. The $400 million London-listed publisher said on Wednesday it should beat the 197 million pounds of revenue and 20 million pounds of pre-tax profit that analysts are forecasting for this financial year. The upbeat outlook is thanks to the success of Nobel Prize-winning Tanzanian author Abdulrazak Gurnah and a flurry of sales at its education unit. Bloomsbury shares jumped 11%.

Finding new revenue streams is crucial given J.K. Rowling’s waning popularity. Her Harry Potter series remains Bloomsbury’s top seller, but the author is losing her charm with the key demographic of teenage readers who have taken offence at a spat with the transgender community. The recent addition of academic publisher ABC-CLIO provides further Potter cover. Investec analysts reckon net cash could grow to 37 million pounds next year, opening the door to further deals. (By Aimee Donnellan)

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(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are their own.)

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Editing by Ed Cropley and Oliver Taslic

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