Stieg Larsson's thriller series ("The Millenium-series"), which included The "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", has been a huge boon to Random House profits.

Matthew Flamm , writing today in Crain's New York Business, reports this:

The girl with the dragon tattoo has been very good to Random House.

The world’s largest consumer publisher has sold 6.5 million copies—including 1 million Kindle e-book editions—of the late Stieg Larsson’s trio of thrillers featuring the inked Swedish hacker. Those sales have helped boost Random House revenues to 791 million euros, or roughly $1.05 billion, in the first half of 2010, an increase of 8% over the same period a year ago, parent company Bertelsmann announced Tuesday.

Earnings before interest and taxes, which is how Bertelsmann describes profits, doubled to 40 million euros, or $53 million. The Gutersloh, Germany-based international media giant employed a conversion rate of $1.33 to the euro in the first half.

“Our performance was led by the U.S. division, which combined bestseller dominance with lower physical returns,” wrote Random House Inc. Chief Executive Markus Dohle in a congratulatory memo to the staff.

Mr. Dohle went on to cite “cost discipline,” improvements to the supply chain and rapid growth in the publisher’s digital program, with worldwide e-book sales likely to exceed $100 million in the current year. In the U.S., e-book sales spiked 300% in the first six months of 2010.

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