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Harry Potter publisher looks for iPad boost
31.03.10 | Philip Jones
The Apple iPad, further acquisitions and new Harry Potter covers are just some of the initiatives outlined by Bloomsbury as it bids to boost its businesss after recording double-digit falls in revenue and profits in 2009.
Bloomsbury's share price 'firmed', according to the FT, up 1.5p to 115p, despite the results which, for some commentators, highlighted the waning Harry Potter effect. But Nigel Newton told the newspaper that with net cash of £35m, down from £51.9m at the end of 2008, he was “most certainly on the look-out” for more acquisitions in the specialist publishing field. "The long-term target is to bring the specialist side of the business up to about half the total turnover for the business," Newton told Reuters.
The Daily Mail notes that the publisher has unveiled new covers for all seven books in the wizard series as it tried to revive interest in its most popular product. But when asked if the firm was too reliant on the series, Newton replied to the newspaper: "Emphatically, no". Newton told the Telegraph that 700,000 British children enter its target Harry Potter demographic every year.
The Guardian reports that Bloomsbury is planning talks with Apple when it launches its iPad, and iBook Store, in the UK. "It has not come to the UK yet, so that is a piece of business yet to happen, but I can certainly say that the iPad looks like a very exciting platform indeed," he said. "Obviously it is the most important development in ebooks in recent months, so we will certainly be talking to Apple."
The report does not say whether the Harry Potter books, not available anywhere in digital format, would be part of any such deal.