Lagardère announces full year 2018 results

Paris-March 13, 2018

Last month, Lagardère announced their fourth quarter sales and their full-year revenue for 2018. Today, they followed up with an announcement of their full year 2018 results, a more detailed report that includes operating profit. Highlights are as follows:

At Hachette Book Group: 

CEO Michael Pietsch said, “HBG’s increased profits in 2018 were the result of superb publishing across our divisions, solid revenue growth, a continued rise in downloadable audio sales, and a strong backlist performance.

2019 has started excitingly, with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers winning an unprecedented fourth Caldecott Medal in five years for Sophie Blackall’s Hello Lighthouse, and with Hachette Audio winning an Audie Award forDreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham, narrated by Pyeng Threadgill and Luke Slattery, an inventive production of the young adult novel from Little, Brown Book for Young Readers.

The year will be full of important and bestselling publications, including the recently announced Fall title from Malcolm Gladwell, Talking to Strangers, James Patterson’s The 18th Abduction, Admiral William McRaven’s Sea Stories, Harlan Coben’s Run Away, Jared Diamond’s Upheaval, Thomas Harris’s Cari Mora, The Next Great Paulie Fink by Ali Benjamin, David Baldacci’s Redemption, Victoria Osteen’s Exceptional You!, Ann Leckie’s The Raven Tower, George Will’s The Conservative Sensibility, Janet Napolitano’s How Safe Are We?, and Big Sky by Kate Atkinson.”

At Hachette Livre:

Hachette Livre delivered revenue of €2.252 billion in 2018, down 1.2% like-for-like over 2017 (down 1.6 % on a consolidated basis). As expected, the slight decline in revenue in 2018 reflects the 13.4% (€49 million) decline in Education amid the absence of curriculum reform in France, Spain, and the UK. This was partially offset by the success of General Literature, which was up €22 million (2.2%).

  • In France: 2018 revenue declined 3.8% in France and 5.1% in Spain/Latin America, attributed to the decline in Education in those markets as well as an unfavorable comparison effect in Illustrated Books due to the success ofAstérix et la Transitalique in 2017 in those regions.
  • In the US: revenue “advanced by 3.7%, driven by the success of best-selling titles (including the Bill Clinton and James Patterson novel The President is Missing and Nicholas Sparks’ Every Breath), good performances at Perseus and a dynamic showing from audiobooks,” according to Lagardère’s press release.
  • In the UK: revenue slipped 0.5%, with the downturn in Education partially offset by good momentum in General Literature (including J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury).
  • Partworks: revenue remained stable in 2018 (up 0.1%) thanks to a good backlist performance after the success of new title releases in 2017, particularly in Japan.

Ebooks: accounted for 7.9% of total Lagardère Publishing revenue in 2018, versus 7.1% in 2017. Digital audiobooks represented 2.7% of revenue versus 2.0% in 2017.

The Publishing division’s EBIT of €190 million is a decline of €20 million compared with 2017. This decrease reflects “the sharp fall in Education…and to a lesser extent, the contraction in Illustrated Books in France, which had been buoyed by the publication of Astérix et la Transitalique in 2017. The unfavorable currency effect also had an impact on recurring EBIT. These factors were only partly countered by good momentum in General Literature, particularly in the United States, and by the contribution of recent acquisitions in the United Kingdom.”

At Lagardère:

Lagardère reported revenue of €7.258 billion in 2018, up 3.3% like for like. The company delivered profit of €401 million, up €2 million or 2.1% compared to 2017.

First quarter 2019 revenue will be announced on May 16.

For more details, read Lagardère’s press release.