Total sales at Lagardere Publishing rose 1.4% in the first half of 2013, to 917 million euros, while EBIT increased 24.6% to 71 million euros. The company attributed the gains to strong trade sales in France (where it publishes the Fifty Shades series plus Inferno) the U.K. and U.S. Sales in Lagardere’s U.S. subsidiary, Hachette Book Group, rose 7% driven by higher sales of Nicholas Sparks’ titles plus higher e-book sales. Major releases that drove HBG sales for the first six months of 2013 include Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris, and Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. E-books accounted for 34% of adult trade sales in the U.S. in the first six months of 2013 compared to 27% in the first half of 2012. E-book sales also rose sharply in the U.K. and accounted for 31% of adult trade sales in the six-month period. Overall, e-books represented 11.3% of Lagardere Publishing’s total revenue.
Lagardere is expecting a more modest second half of the year as education sales in France are expected to be soft and HBG faces a tougher comparisons to the second half of 2012 when the publisher released The Casual Vacancy. Though, HBG is expecting successes with upcoming publications such as Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath, Scott Turow's Identical, Michael Connelly's The Gods of Guilt.