Revenue at Lagardère Publishing increased 1.1% in 2017 over 2016, rising to €2.29 billion, parent company Lagardère reported this morning. Excluding extraordinary items—a €50 million negative foreign exchange effect, partially offset by a gain of €33 million due to the consolidation of Perseus in the U.S. and the acquisitions of Brainbow and Bookouture in the U.K.—revenue was up 1.9%.
The yearly increase was due to an 8.8% increase in reference sales, primarily in Argentina and Japan, and a 3.4% increase in France. Those positive factors helped offset the unfavorable comparison with last year's success of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the U.K., and higher education sales in Spain, Lagardère reported.
The preliminary financial report did not provide a detailed look at the performance of Hachette's overseas subsidiaries, but did shed light on their fourth quarter performances. In the U.S., Lagardère said, Hachette Book Group’s fourth quarter revenue increased 3.6% due to a good performance by Little, Brown’s adult book group. LB scored a big hit with Pete Souza’s Obama: An Intimate Portrait; the imprint also saw strong sales from The Shack series.
Overall, publishing sales at Lagardère in the final period rose to €624 million, from €619 million, in the last quarter of 2016.
In his own remarks, HBG CEO Michael Pietsch said the company closed 2017 on a strong note. In addition to Obama and The Shack series, Pietsch cited Make Your Bed and Sisters First as strong sellers at the end of the year. He said the company also had bestsellers from James Patterson, Michael Connolly, and David Baldacci.
Pietsch added that with solid frontlist and backlist performances, as well as a full year of results from Perseus, HBG in 2017 experienced "good net revenue growth over 2016.”