Revenue at Hachette Book Group fell marginally in the third quarter ended September 30, 2019, dipping just 0.3%, parent company Lagardère reported. The company attributed the results to a good showing at Little, Brown, led by the release of Talking to Strangers, as well as increases at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and at Grand Central Publishing. In addition to Talking to Strangers, HBG CEO Michael Pietsch said, HBG’s quarterly results were bolstered by continued growth of digital audio and a strong program adult thrillers.
Lagardère said those increases were offset by declining sales for Perseus (notably seeing sales drop for Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass in that quarter) and at Hachette Nashville. Pietsch also pointed to solid sales last year of The President is Missing.
Pietsch said the fourth quarter is off to a strong start, helped by solid sales for Ronan Farrow’s bestseller Catch and Kill. He said the rest of the quarter has a number of promising titles, including “intense anticipation” for A Warning by Anonymous, on sale November 19. Pietsch said he also expects lots of interest in “a large and lively slate of conservative political books, including Triggered by Donald Trump Jr. and new books from many of our most exciting authors, including James Patterson’s dual laydown Criss Cross and Ali Cross."
For all of the Lagardère publishing group, revenue for the division totalled €663 million, up 9.1% over the third quarter of 2018. The increase reflected the positive impact of foreign exchange plus the addition of two acquisitions. For the first nine months of the year, total revenue was €1.71 billion, up from €1.61 billion a year ago.