The U.S. and Canada accounted for 23% of Lagardère Publishing's total revenue of 2.16 billion euros in 2010—498 million euros—compared to 25% in 2009—568 million euros, according to parent company Lagardère. The decline was due to the drop in revenue from the sale of Stephenie Meyer books last year; excluding Meyer titles, sales at Hachette Book Group USA rose 11%. Based on current exchange rates, sales in the U.S. and Canada totaled about $687 million last year. The drop in sales led to a decline in overall profitability for Lagardère Publishing, with earnings before interest and taxes falling to 250 million euros from 301 million euros in 2009.
Somewhat offsetting the decline in Meyer titles in the U.S. was the gain in e-book sales, with e-books representing 8% of HBG's sales in 2010, or approximately $55 million. HBG had 78 e-books with sales topping 10,000 copies, led by three Nicholas Sparks books—The Last Song (134,934 copies), Dear John (130,042), and Safe Haven (108,849)—and James Patterson—I, Alex Cross (152,626) and The 9th Judgment (114,998). Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones sold 118,583 e-book copies. For the first quarter of 2011, HBG projects that e-book sales will double over the first period of 2010.
Although Lagardère didn't offer projections for sales in 2011, its financial performance will benefit from easier comparisons and the release of two Meyer projects in the U.S.—the April publication of The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide and the November release of the Breaking Dawn film. Lagardère's overall strategy for 2011 is to continue to grow its digital sales, improve its position in existing markets, and expand in emerging markets. Joint ventures in China and Lebanon are now starting up operations.