Driven by a solid fourth quarter and good sales for the year in the U.S., Lagardere reported sales of 2.07 billion euros in its publishing division for 2013, down from 2.08 billion in 2012; excluding the impact of foreign currency fluctuations, total sales rose 1.9%. At Hachette Book Group, 2013 revenue was up 6% in the year led by a strong lineup of titles. E-book sales also did well in the U.S., up 33% in the year largely due to strong sales of bestsellers. At the end of 2013, digital sales accounted for 33% of HBG revenue compared to 26% in 2012.
“Hachette Book Group had a very strong year in 2013, with continued digital growth, the acquisition of Hyperion, and more bestsellers than ever before, including 10 of Bookscan’s top 25 hardcover fiction titles,” said HBG CEO Michael Pietsch. “Continuing the momentum from a superb fourth quarter, HBG is off to an excellent start in 2014.”
Lagardere reported that total publishing sales were up 4.3% in the fourth quarter and rose 6.7% without currency fluctuations. The U.K. did the best in the period with sales up 12.6% while sales in the U.S. increased 0.7%. For the full year, sales in the U.K. rose 1.5% and e-book sales were up 42%, accounting for 27% of adult sales compared to 20% in 2012.
In France, revenue was up 0.8% for the full year, with a 13.3% increase in general literature and Illustrated books, partially offset by the "expected" decrease in education due to the end of renewal of school curricula. Sales in Spain were down.
E-books represented 10.4% of total Lagerdere publishing sales in 2013 up from 7.8% in 2012. Lagardere said that due in part to better than expected results in its publishing group it expects to reported better earnings than originally forecasted when it reports results in March.