Third quarter sales increased 12.9% at Hachette Book Group USA in the third quarter ended September 30, over the same period a year ago.
HBG's parent company, Lagardere, reported that the gain excludes results from the Perseus publishing group, which Hachette bought in March. HBG CEO Michael Pietsch said the purchase has "had a sizable positive revenue impact,” and that the integration of the two houses was going “extremely well.” (Lagardere reported that since its purchase, the Perseus book group has added 40 million euros, about $43.5 million, to HBG).
HBG cited a string of bestsellers as the main reason for the revenue improvement, pointing to such strong sellers as Two By Two by Nicholas Sparks; James Patterson’s Woman of God and Bullseye; Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter’s Hamilton: The Revolution; David Baldacci’s The Last Mile; Sandra Brown’s Sting; Joel Osteen’s Think Better, Live Better; Noah Hawley’s Before the Fall; and Gary Byrne’s Crisis of Character. Additionally, Pietsch noted, a double-digit increase in sales in HBG’s distribution business contributed to the overall revenue gain.
HBG’s solid third quarter was part of an overall strong performance for Lagardere’s worldwide publishing operations. Revenue was up 11.2%, to 675 million euros, over the third quarter of 2015. Excluding the Perseus acquisition and the negative impact of foreign exchange, sales were up 10.9%.
In the U.K., revenue jumped 30.1% led by strong sales of titles like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child . The U.K. division was also handed a good performance in its education group. Revenue in France was up 7.8% in the quarter, but fell 8.4% in Spain/Latin America.
For the first nine months of 2016, total revenue for the worldwide publishing business was up 4.5%, to 1.57 billion euros.