An established Bungay printing firm is set to benefit after copies of a new book from popular author JK Rowling flew off the shelves today.

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Clays has confirmed that it printed the author’s first book for adults, The Casual Vacancy, having previously printed all of her Harry Potter series of books at their base in Popson Street.

The book, which is about an idyllic town ripped apart by an election, had been expected to prove very popular with 2.6m copies bought ahead of its release this morning and some shops opening especially at 8am to sell it.

This afternoon a spokesman for Clays, which is owned by St Ives, confirmed that the company had printed the book, but would not make any further comment.

The company has printed all of Ms Rowling’s Harry Potter series, although in 2003 a security leak at the company saw a forklift truck driver steal pages from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and attempt to sell them to the Sun.

Publishers of The Casual Vacancy, the Little, Brown Book Group, have gone to extreme lengths to keep details of this novel under wraps, with boxes unsealed just minutes before shops opened today.

Ms Rowling, 47, has amassed an estimated fortune of around £620m from her seven Harry Potter books, but has admitted to leaving the door “ajar” for another book.

In August, Clays said it was continuing to seek efficiencies in its print business to combat price pressures and the increase in demand for digital books. At the time its parent company, St Ives, predicted its full year results, which are set to be published next month, to be in line with “current market expectations”.

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