US bookseller Barnes & Noble posted strong sales for the quarter ending August 4, driven by booming sales of the final installment of Harry Potter.
Barnes & Noble total sales jumped 7.6 per cent to US$1.2 billion (£598.9 million) for the quarter, on comparable store sales up 4.4 per cent.
The bookseller said it sold 1.7 million copies of JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in its stores and 400,000 copies online on August 4. Barnes & Noble's online sales rocketed 17.9 per cent to US$97.5 million (£48.7 million). However, excluding sales of Harry Potter, comparable sales only rose 1 per cent in stores, while online sales increassed 7.3 per cent.
Barnes & Noble chief executive Steve Riggio said: “Record breaking sales from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was the principal driver behind our comparable store sales growth in the quarter." He added: "The book continues to sell well, as do all the previous volumes in the Harry Potter series.
Barnes & Noble's profits rose to US$18.1 million (£9 million), up from $16.6 million (£8.3 million) for the same quarter a year ago. It operates 698 Barnes & Noble stores and 94 B Dalton outlets in North America.