Initial US sales reap US$100 million
JK Rowling's sixth instalment, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, has broken US records, with 6.9 million copies sold in the first 24 hours.

According to press reports, US copies of the book flew off the shelves at an average of more than 250,000 copies an hour, smashing the record held by the previous Potter release.

Widespread and heavy discounting dampened revenues on both sides of the Atlantic, but were still around the US$100 million (£57.2 million) mark in the US, according to the publisher, Scholastic. In the UK, Bloomsbury said the release sold 2 million copies on its first day, up from nearly 1.8 million for the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This means UK revenues are about£20 million so far. Many UK retailers have announced that initial sales of the book are in line with expectations.

However, Evolution analyst Nick Bubb said: 'So many retailers have claimed to have sold thousands of the latest Harry Potter book that we thought total sales on Saturday would have been well over the 2 million expected, which begs the question of whether some retailers have been over-playing their hand.'

Bloomsbury said that, according to Nielsen Bookscan, it is estimated that 19 million copies of the book have been sold in the UK and 52 million worldwide.