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Latest Harry Potter sells 2.6 million copies in Britain in 24 hours

It’s a kind of magic of Harry Potter. British book buyers purchased more than 2.6 million copies of the boy wizard's final adventure in 24 hours, an industry data service said Monday.

Nielsen BookScan said 2,652,656 copies of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" were sold in Britain in the 24 hours after it went on sale at 12:01 a.m. Saturday (2301GMT Friday).

The company said the figure was provisional; Final figures were due to be released Tuesday.

The figure breaks the previous record of just over 2 million copies held by the previous Potter volume, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." It includes sales from book stores, supermarkets, other retailers and Internet sites but excludes sales to libraries, schools and institutions.

"Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final volume of J.K. Rowling's all-conquering fantasy series, sold 8.3 million copies in its first 24 hours on sale in the United States, according to publisher Scholastic Inc.

British publisher Bloomsbury, which holds worldwide English-language rights outside the United States and released the book in more than 90 countries Saturday, called the release "the most astoundingly successful book launch ever."

"The response of the first readers to the seventh and final Harry Potter book has been wonderful," the publisher said in a statement.

In Germany, where the book is available only in English, 398,271 copies were sold in 24 hours, Bloomsbury said. Figures from other territories were not yet available.

The book was released around the world Saturday in a carefully orchestrated operation that saw midnight book store openings and long queues of eager Potter-maniacs. Its initial print run was 12 million in the United States alone.

Nielsen BookScan estimated the series' total sales in English around the world at 72.1 million copies. In all, 325 million copies have been sold in 64 languages.

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