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Lagardère Announces Full Year 2021 Results

Paris-February 17, 2022

Lagardère announced their 2021 full-year revenue and profits today, including 3.7% revenue growth at HBG. Highlights are as follows:

Hachette Book Group CEO Michael Pietsch said, “Hachette Book Group’s revenue and profits grew strongly in 2021, propelled by outstanding performances from all our publishing groups and marketplace growth especially in Chain, Independent, Gift and International accounts. Our results were boosted by high sell-through, a significant increase in hardcover sales in our adult divisions, exciting growth for Running Press’s Minis program, and an excellent year for our Client Services business.

We had a stellar array of #1 bestsellers in 2021 including Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s The President’s Daughter, Elin Hilderbrand’s Golden Girl, Michael Connelly’s The Dark Hours, and Nicholas Sparks’ The Wish, in adult fiction; Katie Couric’s Going There, James Patterson and Matt Eversmann’s Walk in My Combat Boots, and Clint Smith’s How the Word Is Passed in adult non-fiction; and Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ The Hawthorne Legacy, Meena Harris’ Ambitious Girl, Stephenie Meyer’s Midnight Sun, and Jason Reynolds and Ibram X Kendi’s Stamped for young readers.

The most exciting development in 2021 was the acquisition of Workman Publishing, continuing HBG’s arc of strategic expansion.  It has been wonderful welcoming our Workman colleagues to HBG, getting to know each other’s businesses, and laying the foundation for a brilliant future together.

2022 is off to a fast start with first quarter lead titles that include Dolly Parton and James Patterson’s Run Rose Run, John Cho’s Troublemaker, Harlan Coben’s The Match, Kelly Barnhill’s The Ogress and the Orphans, Joel Osteen’s Rule Your Day, Jacob Mchangama’s Free Speech, and James S.A. Corey’s Memory’s Legion.”

At Hachette Livre:
Hachette Livre delivered revenue of €2.598 billion in 2021, up 8.1% like-for-like (excluding consolidation and exchange rate impacts) over 2020 and up 9.4% as reported. “In a buoyant market context and on the back of successful publications for all ages in all geographic areas and market segments, the division’s revenue rose to historic levels,” according to Lagardère’s press release.

In fourth quarter 2021, the publishing division delivered revenue of €772 million, up 4.7% (like for like) and 10.3% (as reported). “The difference is chiefly attributable to a €24 million positive scope effect linked to the acquisition of Workman Publishing, and to a €16 million positive currency impact resulting chiefly from the depreciation of the pound sterling.”

The figures below are on a like for like basis:

France: 2021 revenue increased 13.8% in France. “General Literature sales were driven by a host of successful titles across all of the publishing houses, and Illustrated Books also saw strong growth during the year, especially Lifestyle and Youth Works such as manga and graphic novels (with the publication of Asterix and the Griffin in October and the success of the Attack of the Titans series at Pika). Reader demand for these publications also boosted Distribution revenue with third-party publishers. As expected, Education was the only segment on the retreat, due to the lack of curriculum reform.”

United States: revenue increased 3.7% in the US, “achieved on the back of major editorial successes in 2020, driven by a favorable release schedule and hit titles in the Youth Works segment. Distribution activities also benefited from a dynamic third-party publisher market.”

United Kingdom: revenue rose 2.5% in the UK, with the “increase on the exceptional prior-year revenue performance driven by front and backlist momentum in Youth Works and Adult Trade titles.”

Spain/Latin America: revenue grew by 5.0% in Spain/Latin America, “thanks to brisk momentum in Spain – especially in the Trade segment, underpinned by the release of Asterix and the Griffon – and to the upturn in sales in the second half of the year in Mexico.”

Partworks: revenue from sales of Partworks rose 13.9%, attributed to successful backlist collections and new releases in the first half of 2021 in all geographic areas.

Ebooks accounted for 7.7% of total Lagardère Publishing revenue in 2021 versus 9.5% in 2020, while digital audiobooks represented 3.8% of revenue versus 4.3% in 2020.

The Publishing division posted recurring EBIT of €351 million, an increase of €105 million year on year, with an operating margin of 13.5%. “This record margin was driven by business growth, a favorable sales mix and disciplined cost control.”

At Lagardère:
Lagardère reported revenue of €5.130 billion in 2021, up 18.6% like for like. The company delivered profit of €249 million, versus a negative €155 million in 2020, a sharp €404 million improvement.

First quarter 2022 results will be announced on April 26.

For more details, read Lagardère’s press release.