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Lagardère announces 2019 first half results

Paris-July 25, 2019

Lagardère announced results for first half of 2019 today. Highlights of the company’s financial performance are as follows:

At Hachette Book Group:
Hachette Book Group CEO Michael Pietsch said, “HBG’s revenue declined slightly in the first half, but our profits rose, boosted by major fiction releases like Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand—her first #1 bestseller!—and James Patterson’s The 18th Abduction and The ChefRedemption by David Baldacci, Run Away by Harlan Coben, Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly, and nonfiction bestsellers including Sea Stories by Admiral William McRaven, The Case for Trump by Victor Davis Hanson, and The Matriarch by Susan Page. 68 HBG titles have hit the New York Times bestseller list so far this year, with 9 of them reaching #1.  Strong backlist sellers including You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, Andrew Sean Greer’s Pulitzer Prize winner Less, Circe by Madeline Miller, Admiral McRaven’s Make Your Bed, Min Jin Lee’s Pachinkoand Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers also contributed strongly.

“Two Orbit science fiction writers recently received coveted honors, with Tade Thompson’s Rosewater winning the 2019 Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Novel and NK Jemisin’s How Long Til Black Future Month winning a 2019 Locus Award for best story collection.

“Some of our most exciting publications of the year lie ahead – Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking to StrangersAll The President’s Women by Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy, James Patterson’s Criss Cross and Ali Cross, Stephen Chbosky’s Imaginary Friend, Brent Weeks’s The Burning White, Donald Trump Jr.’s Triggered, Joyce Meyer’s Your Battles Belong to the Lord, Michael Connelly’s The Night Fire, Julie Andrews’ Home Work, and Radicals, Resistance and Revenge by Judge Jeanine Pirro.”

At Hachette Livre:
Hachette Livre delivered revenue of €1.044 billion, up 4.4% on a consolidated basis and up 1.3% like-for-like. The difference between consolidated and like-for-like figures is attributable to a €23 million positive foreign exchange effect primarily resulting from the appreciation of the US dollar, and to a €9 million positive scope effect, linked mainly to the acquisitions of Gigamic (France) and Worthy Publishing Group (US).

Business was up in the first half of 2019, thanks to growth in General Literature in France, a good performance in Partworks, and momentum in Mobile Games. These positive factors helped offset the year-on-year decline in Spain, the UK and the US, affected by a strong comparative first-half 2018 performance.

The figures below are like for like:

  • In France: growth of 4.7% was driven by General Literature, due mainly to the success of the Le Livre de Poche paperback edition of Guillaume Musso’s La Jeune Fille et la Nuit, and to a lesser extent, an increase in the Mobile Games business (IsCool Entertainment).
  • In the US: Business in the United States contracted slightly (down 1.5%), according to Lagardère’s press release, “with a solid advance in Digital Audiobooks and the success of new titles – particularly at Grand Central Publishing (Thomas Harris and Harlan Coben), Perseus (Victor Davis Hanson’s The Case for Trump) and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Fortnite titles),” which only partially offset a challenging comparison with the blockbuster success of The President is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton in first-half 2018.
  • In the UK: business in the UK “edged back up by 0.8%, as a good backlist performance and growth in digital sales at Bookouture failed to offset an unfavorable comparison effect resulting from the success of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury at Little, Brown Book Group in first-half 2018 and slower sales of Illustrated Books.”
  • In Spain/Latin America:  business in the Spain/Latin America region declined 7.2%, reflecting delayed billings in Education compared to first-half 2018, which had been lifted by the early impacts of curriculum reform in Spain and Mexico.
  • Partworks: Partworks maintained its positive trend (+5.1%), driven by successful titles in Japan and Germany, as well as a good performance in Italy.
  • Ebooks: E-books accounted for 8.2% of total Lagardère Publishing revenue in the first half of 2019, compared to 8.4% in first-half 2018. Digital Audiobooks represented 3.4% of revenue, compared to 2.5% in first-half 2018.

Lagardère Publishing reported €36 million in recurring EBIT, down €9 million versus first half 2018. This decline chiefly reflects higher launch costs for Partworks and a negative timing effect in France linked to costs incurred to prepare the curriculum reform.

At Lagardère:

The Lagardère group reported revenue of €3.612 billion in the first half of 2019, up 6.7% like for like and up 7.3% consolidated versus first half 2018. “This growth momentum was powered by a solid performance at Lagardère Travel Retail…and by growth at Lagardère Publishing.” The Lagardère group’s recurring EBIT of $153 million was up $14 million from first half 2018.

 

Read Lagardère’s press release for further details.