Lagardère announces financial results for Q4 and full year 2017

Paris-February 8, 2018

Lagardère announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2017 today. See highlights below:

At Hachette Book Group: CEO Michael Pietsch said, “We closed out the year strongly, with books that were in high demand for the holidays including Pete Souza’s Obama: An Intimate Portrait, Admiral William McRaven’s Make Your Bed, Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush’s Sisters First, and bestselling thrillers from James Patterson, David Baldacci, and Michael Connelly.  These and many other remarkable books, plus a full year of Perseus sales, solid backlist performance led by William Paul Young’s The Shack and Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass, and a strong sell through across our imprints, resulted in good net revenue growth over 2016.”

In 2017, HBG had 167 books on the New York Times bestsellers list, including 34 #1 titles. We also had 144 books hit the USA Today list, 10 of which were #1 bestsellers.

Highlights for 2018 include Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s thriller The President is Missing in June, a memoir from legendary actress Sally Field, In Pieces, in September, and Nicholas Sparks’s first novel in two years, coming in October. Jewell Parker Rhodes’ breathtaking new novel Ghost Boys was just named the #1 Spring Kids Indie Pick. Recent awards include Vashti Harrison’s NAACP Image Award for her beautiful and inspiring picture book, Little Leaders, and Hachette Books has two finalists for PEN Literary Awards – No One Cares About Crazy People by Ron Powers and A Moonless, Starless Sky by Alexis Okeowo.

At Hachette Livre: Hachette Livre delivered revenue of €2.289B in 2017, up 1.9% like-for-like over 2016 (up 1.1 % on a consolidated basis). The difference between these two figures reflects a €50M negative foreign exchange effect and a €33M positive scope effect resulting from the consolidation of Perseus, and the acquisitions of Brainbow and Bookouture for Hachette UK.

Business growth for the publishing division was mainly driven by good performance at Partworks (up 8.8%, particularly strong in Argentina and Japan), by gains in France (up 3.4%) due to new bestsellers including Astérix et la Transitalique and Dan Brown’s Origin, a record year at Le Livre de Poche paperbacks, and by textbook publishing. These factors offset the anticipated decline at Hachette UK due to unfavorable comparison with the enormously successful publication of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and strong performance for Spain’s education business.

In the fourth quarter, Hachette Livre delivered revenues of €624M, up 2.8% like-for-like (up 0.8% on a consolidated basis), with the difference between the two figures due to €19M negative foreign exchange effect and €7M positive scope effect.

  • In France: Q4 revenue was up 11.0% on prior year, the increase mainly driven by the new Astérix installment and Dan Brown’s Origin, as well as strong Distribution business.
  • In the US: Q4 revenue was up 3.6%, with the increase reflecting “good performance from Little, Brown Adult’s books spurred by the success of Pete Souza’s Obama: An Intimate Portrait, and from Nashville, buoyed by sales of William Paul Young’s The Shack series,” according to Lagardère’s press release.
  • In the UK: revenue fell as expected (-14.3%), due to the aforementioned comparison with Fantastic Beasts, as well as strong sales for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and The Famous Five series.
  • In Spain/Latin America: revenues rose 1.7% due to the success of the new Astérix title.
  • Partworks: revenue grew 7.3%, thanks to new title launches and good backlist sales.
  • Ebooks: accounted for 7.1% of total Lagardère Publishing revenue in Q4 2017, compared to 7.6% in Q4 2016.

At Lagardère: Lagardère delivered fourth quarter revenues of €1.911 billion, up 3.3% like for like against Q4 2016 (down 3.7% on a consolidated basis). The difference between like for like and consolidated figures is due to primarily to divestment activity at Lagardère Travel Retail.

The company reported revenues of €7.069 billion in 2017, up 4.0% like for like (down 4.4% on a consolidated basis) compared to prior year.  The difference is attributed to negative scope effect of divestments by Lagardère Travel Retail, partly offset by acquisitions by the publishing division. Full year results including profit will be released on March 8.

For more details, read Lagardère’s press release.