Lagardère announces first half 2018 results

Paris-July 26, 2018

Lagardère announced results for First Half 2018 today. Highlights of the company’s financial performance are as follows:

At Hachette Book Group:

CEO Michael Pietsch said, “First half revenues and profits grew from 2017, with excellent ongoing backlist performance and strong publishing programs across divisions. Hachette hardcovers have held the #1 slot in both fiction and nonfiction for six consecutive weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list, led by Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s thriller The President Is Missing and David Sedaris’s essay collection Calypso. Hachette Audio continued its steady growth, and our Client Services business had a strong first half.  Readers remain intensely interested in politics and we’ve tapped into that with bestsellers including Trump’s America by Newt Gingrich, Russian Roulette by David Corn and Michael Isikoff, and continued sales of Obama: An Intimate Portrait by Pete Souza. Other first-half bestsellers include The Fallen by David Baldacci, James Patterson’s The 17th Suspect, Jake Tapper’s The Hellfire Club, You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero, Elin Hilderbrand’s The Perfect Couple, Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko, the Pulitzer Prize winner Less by Andrew Sean Greer, and The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown.  The steady growth of the Avalon Travel imprint brought it to #1 market share in the category in the first half.  We’re looking forward to an extremely strong second half, with major books from Sally Field, James Patterson, Sandra Brown, David Baldacci, Michael Connelly, Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling), Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Kim Stanley Robinson, Ann Leckie, Ambassador Wendy Sherman, Neil Patrick Harris, Flea, the creators of Dear Evan Hansen, Kate Atkinson, and many others.”

At Hachette Livre:

Hachette Livre delivered revenue of €1 billion in the first half of the year, up 0.5% like-for-like (-1.9% on a consolidated basi) over first half 2017; the difference between consolidated and like-for-like figures was due to negative (-€42M) foreign exchange effect associated with the depreciation of the U.S. dollar and a positive (+€18M) scope effect due mainly to Hachette UK’s acquisitions of Bookouture, Jessica Kingsley Publishing, Summersdale, and IsCool Entertainment.

  • In France: first half 2018 revenues were up 2.5%, driven primarily by General Literature and strong sales for author Guillaume Musso, good momentum at Le Livre de Poche, and an upward trend for Distribution.
  • In the US: revenues rose 1.4%, reflecting the success of The President Is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton, and “the sustained release schedule at Perseus, which offset the contraction at Nashville following the success of Paul Young’s The Shack in first half 2017,” according to Lagardère’s press release.
  • In the UK: revenues were down 2.5%. Excellent sales for Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury at Little, Brown Book Group did not offset the full effect of the contraction in the frontlist at Headline and Hodder.
  • In Spain/Latin America: revenues were down 5.1% due to unfavorable comparison with strong textbook sales in first half 2017.
  • Partworks: revenues rose 2.7%, with particularly strong sales in Latin America, France, and Italy.
  • Ebooks: accounted for 8.4% of total Lagardère Publishing revenue in first-half 2018, compared to 8.8% in the same period last year.

The Publishing division achieved profits of €40 million, down €1 million compared to first-half 2017. Positive momentum in General Literature in France and improved profitability in the United States only partly offset downturn in business in Spain and a slight decline in the UK.

At Lagardère:

The Lagardère group delivered revenue of €3.36 billion (+4.4% growth like-for-like, +1.8% on a consolidated basis) for first half 2018, with the increase reflecting “strong growth at Lagardère Travel Retail (+9.9%), as well as a solid contribution by Lagardère Publishing and Lagardère Active despite the unfavorable market environments,” according to the company’s press release. Group profit remained stable year on year at €132 million. The difference between consolidated and like-for-like sales reflects a negative (-€110M) foreign exchange effect due to depreciation of the US dollar, and a positive (+€25M) scope effect relating to acquisitions in the Publishing and Travel Retail divisions and divestitures in the Active division.

Read Lagardère’s press release for further details.