In announcing its results for the first six months of the year, Pearson reported that Penguin Random House had "a solid performance in the first half of 2016 with reduced demand for e-books.” This, the company said, was offset by the increased integration benefits of combining Random House and Penguin. Pearson owns a minority stake in PRH with Bertelsmann holding the majority position.
In the U.S., Pearson pointed to a number of big books for PRH’s good performance. Among those hits were Jojo Moyes' Me Before You and After You, which sold a combined 2.4 million copies in print and digital in the first half of 2016. The Girl on the Train, originally released in January 2015, sold another 800,000 copies in all formats in the six month period. Additionally, Dr. Seuss’s children’s books sold almost three million copies in the first six months of the year.
Looking at the remainder of the year for PRH, Pearson said it "anticipates that additional benefits from the ongoing integration of the business will be broadly offset by reduced demand for e-books.”
A more detailed look at PRH's results will come at the end of August when Bertelsmann releases its financial update.
For all of Pearson, revenue declined 7% compared to the first half of 2015, to £1.87 billion, and adjusted operating income plunged 80%, to £15 million. Pearson is in the middle of a companywide restructuring aimed at simplifying its operations. As part of that effort it plans to eliminate 4,000 jobs worldwide and said that about 3,450 employees have already been told that their jobs are being cut.