Lagardere reported that profits in its publishing division rose 5% in 2016, over 2015, to 208 million euros. Earlier this year, the French conglomerate said that publishing revenue rose 2.5%, to 2.26 billion euros.
Lagardere attributed the profit improvement to three factors: improved profit in the U.S. due to “strict cost discipline,” higher partworks sales in Japan and Span, and the impact of strong sales of such titles at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts in the U.K.
The sales performances of Potter and Beasts helped to offset soft e-book sales, which accounted for 8.0% of Lagardere Publishing's total revenue last year, down from 9.0% in 2015.
Sales in Hachette Book group USA fell 4.2% in the year (excluding Perseus), thanks to a weaker publishing schedule, particularly in the fourth quarter. (In Q4 revenue fell 12.5%.)
During the year, HBG integrated the Perseus publishing division into its operations (which added about $75 million). The company also added the publisher PI Kids to its distribution ranks, and renewed deals with three major publisher clients. HBG now handles distribution for 19 publishers.
With the inclusion of revenues from Perseus, the U.S. and Canada accounted for 27% of Lagardere Publishing 's revenue last year, up from 25% in 2015.