Revenue at Hachette Book Group rose 5.4% in the first half of 2017, over the comparable period in 2016, parent company Lagardere reported. The gain excludes $24 million from the Perseus Books publishing division, which Lagardere bought in March 2016.
Total revenue at Lagardere’s Publishing unit—Hachette Livre—increased 5.1% , to 1.02 billion euros, over the first six months of 2016. Recurring EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) rose 14%, to 41 million euros.
In the U.S., Lagardere said the increase was due mainly to the performance of Hachette Nashville, home of FaithWords and Center Street, as well as to such successful titles such as The Fix by David Baldacci and The Black Book by James Patterson.
HBG CEO Michael Pietsch noted that the publisher finished the first half of 2017 with a very strong June that featured a number of books, released in the spring, which have continued to sell through June.
Reviewing the entire performance for Hachette Livre, Lagardere said revenue was up 10.2% in the U.K. in the first six months of 2017. However, in France, revenue was down 3.1%; the company attributed this drop, in part, to distractions caused by the French elections.
E-book sales continued to be soft throughout the publishing group accounting for 8.8% of total revenue in the first half of 2017, down from 9.2% in first six months of 2016.