Hachette Livre (Lagardère Publishing) is a leading publisher in three key languages: French, Spanish, and English. In France, their imprints include: Grasset, Fayard, Stock, Livre de Poche, Lattès, Calmann-Lévy, Larousse, Hatier, Dunod, and many others. The company's main assets outside of France are Hachette Book Group USA (Grand Central Publishing, Little, Brown and Company, etc.); Hachette UK (Hodder-Headline, Octopus, Orion, Cassel, etc.); Hachette España (Anaya, Salvat, Bruño); Aique (Argentina); Patria (Mexico); and others.

Hachette also holds further stakes or partnerships in China and Russia, with Phoenix Publishing & Media Group, PPMG (China), and a 25% share in Atticus (Russia).

As a publisher of high-quality books for the public, its focus is general literature, textbooks, and illustrated books. It also publishes partworks and booklets to be sold at newsstands. Hachette Livre publishes more than 14,878 new titles every year (2011).

The group belongs to Lagardère, a French based, globally active media group with activities in 40 countries, which is managed by Arnaud Lagardère and focuses on book, magazine, newspaper, and ebook publishing as well as television, radio, retail, and athletic management. It is also a key shareholder at EADS (Airbus, Eurocopter, etc.).

Key company developments in 2011 & 1st half year 2012


Hachette Livre’s sales of 2.04 billion EUR for 2011 are down by 5.9% against 2010, while profits fell by 11.8% to 2.20 billion EUR, bringing the group to “post Stephenie Meyer Twilight” levels.

Education represents 19% of Hachette’s revenues in 2011.

Ownership, mergers & acquisition, internal organization:



In 2011, sales in France account for 33% of Hachette’s total revenues; US and Canada represent 23%; UK and Australia 18%; and Spain 9%.
Effective April 30, 2010, Lagardère publishing divested its 51% stake in the Bresilian Escala Educacional, with revenues of 5 million EUR in 2010 (and 26 million EUR in 2009). In March 2011, Lagardère Publishing signed a memorandum of understanding with a view to acquiring a minority stake in the Russian publishing group Atticus.


2011 saw ebooks gain a wider significance and visibility in France. Hachette’s own ebook distribution platform Numilog, launched in 2000, is the country's largest platform for ebooks. In April 2012, however, Hachette returned ownership of Numilog to its founder and director general, Denis Zwirn, in exchange for a “privileged partnership” with the platform.

In the last quarter of 2011, ebook sales accounted for 20% of all US revenues from publishing at Hachette, and for 5% in the first quarter 2012 in the UK. Overall e-books accounted for 6% of Lagardère’s Publishing’s total net sales.

In May 2012, Hachette is harmonizing its retail price for 2000 ebook titles with the paperback editions of those books.

By working with Attributor, Hachette has made a high profile in the fight against ebook piracy.

In November 2010, Hachette announced a strategic partnership with Google Editions for the digitization and commercialization of 40,000 - 50,000 backlist titles.

Bestselling authors & titles:


Key points for analysis & conclusions:


Earlier developments:


After the “exceptional year” of 2009, with the global success of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga, Lagardère Publishing saw its revenues decline by 4.8% in 2010. Twilight sold 45 million copies in 2009, against 11 million in 2010.

Ebook sales gained momentum considerably in 2010. In the UK, where Hachette had been the first publisher to introduce the “agency pricing model," ebooks accounted for 5% of its business by the fourth quarter 2010. Arnaud Lagardère projected to have 15,000 titles available as ebooks in 2012, a 5,000 increase that would represent 10% of sales by 2012. Hachette UK claimed 22% of the UK ebook market for 2010.

In 2010, domestic revenues from France accounted for 32% of the group sales against 19% in the UK; 23% in the US; and 9 % in Spain.


At a margin of 13.2% in 2009 (against 11.3% in 2008) and profits growing by 24%, Lagardère Publishing had a strong year in 2009.

31% of its revenues came from domestic sales in France (2008: 31%), 19% from the UK (2008: 21%), and 25% from the USA (2008: 22%).

Editions Albert-René, the French publisher of the classic comics series Asterix, was fully integrated after acquiring 60% of its capital by the end of 2008.

In the US, the group had a “very good performance” due to record sales of block buster titles, notably the Twilight series, of which the group sold 33.6 million copies in the USA, 12.8 million in the UK and Australia, and 3.6 million in France. The success story was projected to continue in 2010 with a third movie and a Manga adaptation.

In the US. the group had 130 titles listed as bestsellers by the New York Times.

Additional global expansion brought successful gains in India, Spain, China and Lebanon.


For 2008, Lagardère Publishing (formerly know as Hachette Livre) reported “strong growth in net sales” in the USA, expanding its share of revenues from 18% in 2007 to 22% in 2008 (ca. 475 million EUR), very good performance in education in Spain, yet a “decline in sales for Literature (France) and Partworks." But even as sales in the UK dropped 5.4%--from 298.7 million GBP in 2007 to 282.5 million GBP in 2008, or a share of 21% in all of Hachette’s revenues against 24% in 2007--Hachette UK was, according to The Bookseller, still 20 million GBP ahead of Random House as the number 1 in the UK trade publishing.

Exchange rates had a negative impact of -5% on the results of Lagardère Publishing.

The Time Warner Book Group, after being acquired by Hachette from Time Warner on March 31, 2006, was split into two parts: Hachette Book Group USA to focus on the American market, and Little, Brown Book Group for the UK. The US market contributed ca. $408 million (up ca. 16% from 2006) to the revenues of Hachette Livre, according to trade media reports, which brought Hachette’s US results ahead of Bertelsmann’s Random House. The UK publishing branch Octopus planned to launch a list of 150 titles in the US as the Hachette Livre UK subsidiary aimed to become "a truly global publisher," with content to be generated in the UK and repackaged and marketed in the US for an American audience.

In the Spanish language, the publishing houses Anaya, Larousse, Bruño and Salvat are well known in the Spanish-speaking world for their illustrated publications.

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.