The absence of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight titles made its most significant impact yet this year on Lagardere Publishing in the third quarter as sales fell about 7% in the period, to 634 million euros. The erosion of Meyer’s sales, the company said “had a marked impact on revenue trends not only in the United States [Hachette Book Group USA], but also in France and the United Kingdom.” The decline in third quarter sales dropped nine months revenue by 5%, to 1.61 billion euros. In addition to softer sales from Twilight, overall results were hurt by the performance of the education group in France and Spain.
The company noted that worldwide revenue for the first nine months of 2010 was running ahead of 2008 and in the U.S., HBG already has had 144 books hit the New York Times bestsellers lists compared to 131 for all of last year. E-book sales remained strong, accounting for 9% of HBG USA’s sales in the nine months.
Lagardere added that with Meyer comparisons easing in the final period, especially in the U.S, “revenue trends should therefore improve slightly in the fourth quarter.”