Hachette Livre (Lagardère Publishing) is a leading publisher in three key languages: French, Spanish and English. In France, Hachette operates Grasset, Fayard, Stock, Livre de Poche, Lattès, Calmann-Lévy, Larousse, Hatier, Dunod and many others. Outside of France, its main assets include Hachette Book Group USA (Grand Central Publishing, Little, Brown and Company, etc.), Hachette UK (Hodder-Headline, Octopus, Orion, Cassel, etc.), Hachette España (Anaya, Salvat, Bruño), Aique (Argentina), Patria (Mexico), and others.

Hachette also partners with Phoenix Publishing & Media Group in China and holds a 25% share of Atticus in Russia.

As a publisher of high-quality works for the general public, Hachette focuses on general literature, textbooks and illustrated books. Hachette also publishes partworks and booklets to be sold at newsstands. Hachette Livre publishes more than 14,878 new titles every year (2011).

The group belongs to Lagardère, a French-based, globally active media group with activities in 40 countries managed by Arnaud Lagardère, with a focus on books, e-books, magazines, audiovisual, retail and distribution services, and sports. It is also a key shareholder at EADS (Airbus, Eurocopter, et al.).

Key Company Developments in 2012


Hachette Livre’s sales of 2.08 billion EUR in 2012 (slightly up from 2.04 billion EUR in 2011, with profits of 223 million EUR up by 0.9 % against 2011), have been driven notably by the success of E.L. James (50 Shades of Grey) and J.K. Rowling, as well as the growth in e-books in the UK, which also reported a growth in profitability.

In the first quarter of 2013, revenues grew by a remarkable 6.6%, driven by general fiction in France (up 8.9%) and by movie adaptations (of Safe Haven, Beautiful Creatures, A Story of God and All of Us) in the US (up 14.9%).

The Hispanic division, however, was flat in both 2012 and early 2013.

In 2012, Hachette released 14,926 new titles worldwide.

Ownership, Mergers & Acquisition, Internal Organization:



In 2012, sales in France account for 36% of Hachette’s total revenues (up from 33% in 2011), with 22% in the U.S. and Canada represent 22% (down from 23% in 2011), 21% in the U.K. and Australia (up from 18% in 2011), and 10% in Spain (up from 9% in 2011).

Fiction and nonfirction account for 38% of the group’s sales in 2012, with 19% from education for 19%.

Effective April 30, 2010, Lagardère publishing divested its 51% stake in the Brazilian Escala Educacional with revenues of 5 million EUR in 2010 (and 26 million EUR in 2009). In March 2011, Lagardère Publishing signed a memorandum of understanding with a view to acquiring a minority stake in the Russian publishing group Atticus.


In 2012, digital sales represented 8% of revenues at Hachette Livre (up from 6% in 2011). E-book sales accounted for 23% in the US and the UK, compared to 1.8% in France.

Following a pilot project, Hachette decided to make its entire e-book catalogue available for lending to libraries, in a cooperation that included OverDrive, 3M and Baker & Taylor. New titles will be included simultaneously with their release in print.

In spring 2013, Hachhette UK announced to refine their “agency model”, allowing retailers to discount in compliance with anti-trust procedures by the European Commission, after having settled with the US Department of Justice in 2012 for the US.

2011 saw e-books gaining a wider significance and visibility in France, and Hachette’s own e-book distribution platform Numilog, launched in 2000, is the largest platform for e-books in France. In April 2012, however, Hachette returned ownership of Numilog to its founder and director general, Denis Zwirn, yet maintains a “privileged partnership” with the platform.

In the last quarter of 2011, e-book sales accounted for 20% of all US revenues from publishing at Hachette, and for 25% in the first quarter 2012 in the UK. Overall e-books accounted for 6% of Lagardère’s Publishing’s total net sales.

In May 2012, Hachette is harmonizing its retail price for 2000 e-book titles with the paperback editions of those books.

Hachette holds a high profile in the fight against e-book piracy by working with Attributor.

In November 2010, Hachette announced a strategic partnership with Google Editions to digitize and develop commercial editions of 40,000 to 50,000 backlist titles.

Bestselling Authors & Titles:

E.L. James, JK Rowling.

Key points for Analysis & Conclusions:


Earlier Developments:


After the “exceptional year” of 2009, with the global success of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga, Lagardère Publishing saw its revenues decline by 4.8% in 2010. Twilight sold 45 million copies in 2009, against 11 million in 2010.

Ebook sales gained momentum considerably in 2010. In the UK, where Hachette had been the first publisher to introduce the “agency pricing model," e-books accounted for 5% of its business by the fourth quarter 2010. Arnaud Lagardère projected to have 15,000 titles available as e-books in 2012, a 5,000 increase that would represent 10% of sales by 2012. Hachette UK claimed 22% of the UK e-book market for 2010.

In 2010, domestic revenues from France accounted for 32% of the group sales against 19% in the UK; 23% in the US; and 9% in Spain.


At a margin of 13.2% in 2009 (against 11.3% in 2008) and profits growing by 24%, Lagardère Publishing had a strong year in 2009.

31% of its revenues came from domestic sales in France (2008: 31%), 19% from the UK (2008: 21%), and 25% from the USA (2008: 22%).

Editions Albert-René, the French publisher of the classic comics series Asterix, was fully integrated after acquiring 60% of its capital by the end of 2008.

In the US, the group had a “very good performance” due to record sales of block buster titles, notably the Twilight series, of which the group sold 33.6 million copies in the USA, 12.8 million in the UK and Australia, and 3.6 million in France. The success story was projected to continue in 2010 with a third movie and a Manga adaptation.

In the US. the group had 130 titles listed as bestsellers by the New York Times.

Additional global expansion brought successful gains in India, Spain, China and Lebanon.


For 2008, Lagardère Publishing (formerly know as Hachette Livre) reported “strong growth in net sales” in the USA, expanding its share of revenues from 18% in 2007 to 22% in 2008 (ca. 475 million EUR), very good performance in education in Spain, yet a “decline in sales for Literature (France) and Partworks." But even as sales in the UK dropped 5.4%--from 298.7 million GBP in 2007 to 282.5 million GBP in 2008, or a share of 21% in all of Hachette’s revenues against 24% in 2007--Hachette UK was, according to The Bookseller, still 20 million GBP ahead of Random House as the number 1 in the UK trade publishing.

Exchange rates had a negative impact of -5% on the results of Lagardère Publishing.

The Time Warner Book Group, after being acquired by Hachette from Time Warner on March 31, 2006, was split into two parts: Hachette Book Group USA to focus on the American market, and Little, Brown Book Group for the UK. The US market contributed ca. $408 million (up ca. 16% from 2006) to the revenues of Hachette Livre, according to trade media reports, which brought Hachette’s US results ahead of Bertelsmann’s Random House. The UK publishing branch Octopus planned to launch a list of 150 titles in the US as the Hachette Livre UK subsidiary aimed to become "a truly global publisher," with content to be generated in the UK and repackaged and marketed in the US for an American audience.

In the Spanish language, the publishing houses Anaya, Larousse, Bruño and Salvat are well known in the Spanish-speaking world for their illustrated publications.

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.

Click here to return to the full listing of the world's largest publishers.