Harlequin, a publisher of books for women, is wholly-owned by Torstar Corporation, a media and book publishing company. Harlequin comprises several imprints including MIRA, HQN, LUNA, Kimani Press, and Carina Press. Publishing operations are divided in two divisions: North America and Overseas. In 2011, Harlequin published books in 34 languages in 114 markets.

Key company developments in 2011 & 1st half year 2012


While Torstar closed fiscal 2011 with revenue growth, Harlequin recorded slight declines both in revenues and earnings. The Book Publishing unit shows mixed result. Publishing revenues fell $5.1 million in 2011, as digital growth could not balance declines in print and overseas. Overseas sales were down $6.5 million, due to a weak European economy. In contrast to North America, where revenue grew $1.4 million. EBITDA for the Book Publishing Segment was down $2.0 million including a decline of $6.4 million from the impact of foreign exchange and a $0.7 million benefit from acquisitions. All other figures exclude the impact of foreign exchange and acquisitions.

Ownership, mergers & acquisition, internal organization:

Two years ago, the company expanded international operations by acquiring full ownership of Cora Verlag from Axel Springer, Harlequin's joint venture partner in the country since 1976.


Harlequin’s international operations provide Torstar with approximately 28% of its operating revenues. As a result, fluctuations in exchange rates could have a significant impact on Torstar’s reported profitability.


Digital revenues were up $29.5 million, reflecting the continued growth of the digital book market. Sales of print books declined during the year. Higher digital revenues, primarily in the U.K. and Japan, were not sufficient to offset lower revenues in the retail print and the direct-to-consumer businesses. Global digital revenues were 15.5% of total revenue in 2011, up from 7.7% in 2010.

Bestselling authors & titles:

In 2011, Harlequin produced seven #1 bestsellers in the United States.

Key points for analysis & conclusions:


Earlier developments:


Note: Figures are based on sales generated in calendar 2011 or—for corporations with a fiscal year—from fiscal 2011. Data are from publicly available sources and include sales of books, journals, and digital products. Because publishing data were unavailable, Pannini and Disney/Hyperion are excluded from the rankings. The listing and publisher profiles were compiled by international publishing consultant Rudiger Wischenbart under the aegis of Livres Hebdo.