Online retailer Amazon has revealed the latest book in the adventures of schoolboy wizard Harry Potter has smashed all its records for deliveries.
Its UK arm dispatched more than 400,000 copies of Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince on the day of its release, representing more than a quarter of the 1.5 million orders from fans of JK Rowling's creation around the world.
This global demand beat the record of more than 1.3 million advance orders for Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix - the fifth book in the series.
Amazon gave more details on the performance of the Harry Potter novel as it revealed net sales rose by 26 per cent to $1.75 billion (£1 billion) in the second quarter, although the figure was slightly flattered by positive currency swings.
More than half its revenues are generated in the US, with $739 million (£425.5 million) coming from its operations elsewhere in the world including the UK.
But its net income fell to $52 million (£29.9 million) in the quarter from $76 million a year (£43.8 million) earlier after its Amazon Prime discount shipping offer proved costly.
Ryan Regan, acting managing director in the UK, confirmed the sixth Harry Potter book was "the biggest title in Amazon's history".
He said: "It was obviously a huge exercise to deliver that amount of volume of a single title at any time and particularly such a high-profile title.
"So we had dedicated space in our warehouse and worked very closely with our partners at the Royal Mail. From our perspective things went very smoothly and we couldn't be happier."
Within 24 hours of being made available for pre-orders on its UK website in late December, the children's version of the sixth Harry Potter novel topped the sales charts.
Mr Regan said the UK performance was also boosted by demand for its newer range of products such as electronics, toys, and home and garden furniture. Amazon recently announced plans to open a third distribution centre in the UK to cope with demand for these products. Mr Regan said British customers are not eligible to sign up for Amazon Prime currently and the size of the UK compared with the US means it does not add sufficient value here.