RCS MediaGroup is an international multimedia group that produces daily newspapers, magazines, books, radio broadcasting, new media, digital and satellite TV. Forty percent of sales are generated outside Italy, with a significant presence in Spain, Portugal, France, the US, and China. RCS MediaGroup S.p.A. is listed on the Blue Chip segment of the Italian Stock Exchange (ISIN code: ordinary shares IT0003039010, saving shares IT0003039028).
Book publishing is done under RCS Libri, which is wholly owned by RCS MediaGroup. RCS Libri is comprised of five division: Libri Italia, Education, Collezionabili, Flammarion and Rizzoli USA. RCS Libri includes the imprints Rizzoli; Bompiani; BUR; Sonzogno; Fabbri; Adelphi; Marsilio; Lizard; and RL. RCS Libra hods a joint venture with the Mauri Spagnol Group in the super-economical market; Log607 in applications; and Mach 2 in large retail and e-book distribution. The Company is also active in the school and professional publishing (Fabbri, ETAS, Nuova Italia, Sansoni, Tramontana, Oxford, Calderini, Edagricole, Markes, Educazione & Scuola, Edizioni del Quadrifoglio); legal publishing; university education ( Etas and La Tribuna); reference (Rizzoli Larousse); and collections in Italy and abroad, mainly through Fabbri.
In France, RCS owns 100% of the share capital of Editions Flammarion, J'ai Lu, Casterman, and Autrement with a combined market share of 5.8%. RCS Libri is also present in the United States, with the Rizzoli International Publications, and in Spain and Portugal with the La Esfera de los Libros and A Esfera dos Livros.
Key company developments in 2011 & 1st half year 2012
In 2011, RCS Libri saw revenues decrease from 606,3 million EUR in 2010 to 513.3 million EUR, mostly due to the sales of the partworks companies GE Fabbri and Delagrave, which were finalised on January 21, 2011 and December 9, 2010, respectively. On a like for like basis, the decrease was 3.8 million EUR, or 1%. The EBITDA went down from 43.7 million EUR to 36.8 million EUR, or 15.8%. Only Rizzoli International showed an increase, of 11%.
Ownership, mergers & acquisition, internal organization:
In 2011, RCS sold off the partworks division of GE Fabbri and Delagrave.
In early 2012, the rumor spread that RCS considered selling of the French Flammarion group. Before any formal decision was made, the news instantly resulted in interest from several French publishing groups, notably Gallimard, Editis, Actes Sud, and La Martinière, as well as Italian market leader Mondadori.
Rizzoli International was the only book company in the RCS Libri group to show growth in 2011.
RCS Libri is a founding member of the Italian e-book distribution platform eDigita (together with GeMS and Feltrinelli. In December 2010, RCS and Telecom Italia reached a strategic agreement to jointly develop an ebook library to be offered via the Telekom for mobile devices.
Bestselling authors & titles:
RCS Libri's the most successful 2011 Italian titles include the winner of the 2011 Strega Prize Storia della mia gente, by Edoardo Nesi; Una e indivisibile, by Italy's President, Giorgio Napolitano; Il silenzio dell’onda, by Gianrico Carofiglio; Il centenario che saltò dalla finestra e scomparve, by Swedish author Jonas Jonasson (on bestseller lists across Europe); and I menù di Benedetta, by Benedetta Parodi.
Key points for analysis & conclusions:
2011 was a tough year for RCS MediaGroup in most of its fields, with overall revenues dropping from 2.26 billion EUR in 2010 to 2.08 billion EUR in 2011 (with EBITDA being flat), due to the general economic crisis, notably in Spain, where RCS has strong holdings. RCS also suffered declining revenues from advertising and press product circulation. The group made a net loss of 322 million EUR in 2011.
This overall development was reflected in the book division of RCS Libri in the sale of the partworks division and, in early 2012, considerations by the board to sell off the French publishing house Flammarion.
Digital revenues (mostly in the newspaper division) rose by 16%.
In 2010, RCS Libri's book publishing revenues reached 606.3 million EUR. All holdings of RCS Libri reported an increase, with strongest results for Flammarion (up 9.1%) and Rizzoli International, with revenues of 22.7 million EUR as opposed to 18.4% in 2009. The latter has doubled its ebooks sales.
Economic performance of RCS Libri had already been difficult, notably in the partworks division, which saw a drop from 185.9 million EUR in 2008 to 116.5 million EUR in 2009. Consequently, the number of titles was reduced by half.
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.