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Sales at Bloomsbury, publisher of the memoirs of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, grew by a full 15% in 2016, with its consumer division reporting a rise of 28%.

Total sales across the company were £142.6m for the year ending February 2017, which took into account a 48% growth in children’s books. The huge increase in sales for children and young readers was led by an unprecedented 88% growth in the Harry Potter series, thanks in part to the publicity surrounding the 20th anniversary of the first book, The Philosopher’s Stone.

Chief Executive Nigel Newton said: “Trade publishing remains at the centre of Bloomsbury’s mission, but as we have seen with the number of bestsellers and the high energy in the consumer division, our ability to successfully expand into other areas has been proven without doubt.”

He praised Emma Hopkin, who became MD of Bloomsbury’s consumer division a year ago, having previously run the children’s list.  “She is excellent at building lists as well as individual authors and sees the totality of the publishing year in a very deliberate way,” he said.

Newton also noted the strength of Bloomsbury’s international publishing divisions in the US, Australia and India.  In particular, he said that Australia was an “outstanding story”, with sales up from £7m to £10.5m over the year.