Earnings before interest and taxes rose slightly in 2012 at Lagardere Publishing, from 221 million euros to 223 million euros, the company’s parent company Lagardere said Thursday afternoon. Earlier this year, Lagardere reported that revenue increased 1.9%, to 2.08 billion euros. Profits in Lagardere’s U.S. subsidiary, Hachette Book Group, fell in the year, due to what Lagardere said was lower sales and the impact of e-book price fixing settlements. In February, HBG reported that sales fell 3.4% last year due in part to higher sales of lower-priced e-books.
Looking at profits in other areas, Lagardere said the U.K. had an “excellent year” led by its general literature program and rising digital sales. France had a mixed year with good results in general literature, illustrated books and Larousse offset by a decline in education. The Spanish recession led to lower profits there.
Digital sales accounted for 8% of worldwide sales at Lagardere Publishing, up from 6% in 2011. E-books’ penetration is greatest in the U.S. and U.K., accounting for 23% of sales in each area (including audio, digital made up 26% of HBG revenue last year). E-book sales in France comprised 1.8% of adult literature sales.