HarperCollins is a subsidiary of News Corporation, a diversified global media company with operations in cable network programming, film, television, direct broadcast satellite television, and publishing. Beside HarperCollins Publishing, the publishing division includes newspapers such as the New York Post; the Wall Street Journal and related publications in the U.S., Europe and Asia; and Dow Jones and its information services business. HarperCollins is one of the world’s largest English language book publishers. HarperCollins includes HarperCollins Publishers LLC (“HarperCollins U.S.,” headquartered in New York), HarperCollins Publishers Limited (London), and The Zondervan Corporation LLC (Michigan).
Key company developments in 2011 & 1st half year 2012
In 2011, the revenue of News Corporation rose two percent, from $32.8 to $33.4 billion USD. However, the publishing division experienced headwinds from “lower book sales due to fewer new releases and lower licensing fees resulting from a settlement at HarperCollins in fiscal 2010,” according to their annual report.
News Corporation did not make figures available for HarperCollins, since the publishing division also includes the much larger newspaper businessnes and other information services.
HarperCollins UK and International (“UK International” referring notably to Australia and India) reported a three year high with turnover rising from 243 million GBP in 2010 to 254 million GBP in fiscal 2011, which ended in June 2011. Operating profits halved to 14 million “in comparison to the year before but that is purely because of exceptional rights income in the prior year, the publisher told Bookseller. Excluding the exceptional rights income, operating profits have increased by 120%, which indicates that the restructuring strategies over the past few years were successful.
Ownership, mergers & acquisition, internal organization:
News Corporation entered the educational market, which Rupert Murdoch claimed is worth an estimated $500 billion USD, in his annual letter to shareholders.News Corporation bought Wireless Generation, an entrepreneurial company that provides technology-based solutions, for $390 m USD, covering the purchase price and debt repayment.
At the end of October 2011, HarperCollins announced an agreement to buy Thomas Nelson for an undisclosed price. With bestselling titles such as Heaven is For Real, Nelson is a "leader in the inspirational market” and “more broad based than Zondervan”, said HC CEO Brian Murray. Nelson and Zondervan, the Christian publishing house of HarperCollins, are the two largest religion book publishers in the US. Following the private equity firms InterMedia, which acquired Nelson in 2010, and Kohlberg & Company, HarperCollins will be Nelson’s third owner within eighteen months.
HarperCollins expanded its digital content with 8,700 e-books, 50 enhanced e-books, and 71 apps available at the end of June 30, 2011. E-books accounted for approximately 12 percent of total sales. HarperCollins UK reports continued expansion of digital sales, “growing seven fold year on year, accounting around 10% of home trade revenue."
Bestselling authors & titles:
HarperCollins U.S. had 166 titles on the New York Times bestseller list, with 18 titles hitting number one. The company's financial performance was driven by sales of notable bestsellers, including Pinheads and Patriots by Bill O’Reilly; America by Heart by Sarah Palin; Steven Tyler's autobiograpy, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?; and Justin Bieber’s First Step 2 Forever.
Note: Figures are based on sales generated in calendar 2011 or—for corporations with a fiscal year—from fiscal 2011. Data are from publicly available sources and include sales of books, journals, and digital products. Because publishing data were unavailable, Pannini and Disney/Hyperion are excluded from the rankings. The listing and publisher profiles were compiled by international publishing consultant Rudiger Wischenbart under the aegis of Livres Hebdo.