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Lagardère First Quarter 2022 Results

Paris-April 26, 2022

At Hachette Book Group:
Hachette Book Group CEO Michael Pietsch said, “HBG’s first quarter revenue was ahead of 2021 on a like-for-like basis, thanks to good performances from most divisions, a thriving third-party distribution business, and continuing high backlist sales.  Including Workman, which HBG acquired last September, revenue was up significantly. Leading the strong performance were Dolly Parton and James Patterson’s Run, Rose, Run, a #1 New York Times bestseller for five weeks, and Colleen Hoover’s Verity. Harlan Coben’s The Match, Michael Connelly’s The Dark Hours, Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Last Wish, and Stephenie Meyer’s Midnight Sun all had lively sales.

A high point in the first quarter was Little, Brown winning three 2021 National Book Critics Circle Awards, for Clint Smith’s How the Word Is Passed, Jeremy Atherton Lin’s Gay Bar, and Rebecca Donner’s All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days. It was delightful to see Kelly Barnhill’s The Ogress and the Orphans become an instant #1 on the ABA Indies list.  And earlier this month Hachette Audio won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for Carry On by Congressman John Lewis with Kabir Sehgal, read by Don Cheadle.

We have an exciting offering of major titles in the second quarter, including David Baldacci’s Dream Town, Lucy Cooke’s Bitch, Michael Eric Dyson and Marc Favreau’s Unequal, Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush’s The Superpower Sisterhood, Joyce Meyer’s Be Joyful, James Patterson’s memoir James Patterson by James Patterson, and Robin Roberts’ Brighter by the Day.

At Hachette Livre:
Lagardère Publishing delivered revenue of €554 million, up 8.7% as reported and up 1.4% like for like. “This performance reflects the high business base in the wake of the unprecedented momentum built up over the past two years, although March saw the emergence of less favorable trends in the publishing market,” according to Lagardere’s press release.

The changes below for the first quarter are shown on a like for like basis:

In France: revenue for the division contracted slightly by 1.3% in the quarter. “General Literature posted a stable performance, with notable bestsellers including Victor Castanet’s Les Fossoyeurs and Pierre Lemaitre’s Le Grand Monde. The performance of Illustrated Books was buoyed by the rebound in tourism and a dense release schedule for mangas.”

 In the US: revenue at Hachette Book Group was up 2.2%, “with positive momentum in the non-fiction and science fiction segments, the latter supported by an uptick in sales of The Witcher series titles on the back of the release of Season 2 on Netflix.”

 In the UK: revenue at Hachette UK decreased slightly by 1.0%, “reflecting an exceptionally brisk start to 2021. The Adult Trade segment was lifted by social media-driven publishing phenomena such as Ali Hazelwood’s The Love Hypothesis.”

 In Spain/Latin America: revenue surged by 34.5% in Spain and Latin America “on the back of a recovery in Mexico, which was impacted by the health crisis in the first three months of 2021, and an upbeat performance for General Literature in Spain.”

Partworks: revenue for Partworks rose by 3.9%, with Italy and Japan among the leading performers.

Ebooks: Ebooks accounted for 8.1% of total Lagardère Publishing revenue in the first quarter of 2022, versus 9.0% in first quarter 2021, while downloadable audiobooks represented 4.8% of revenue compared to 4.6% in Q1 2021.

At Lagardère:
Revenue for the Lagardère group climbed sharply over the first three months of 2022 to €1.3 billion, up 44.0% on a reported basis and up 38.0% like for like. “The difference between reported and like-for-like revenue is attributable to a €40 million positive currency effect chiefly resulting from the appreciation of the US dollar, and to a €20 million positive scope effect, mainly in connection with the acquisition of Workman Publishing.”

Revenue for Other Activities totalled €56 million in the first quarter of 2022, up 3.7% as reported and up 5.1% like for like. The difference between reported and like-for-like revenue is attributable to a €1 million negative scope effect. Other Activities includes: Lagardère News (revenue down 1.1% in Q1 vs 2021), the Radio segment (down 10%), the Press segment (up 5%), International licensing (up 10%), and Lagardère Live Entertainment (where “business began to recover…as venues gradually reopened.”)

Read more in Lagardere’s press release.