Revenue for Lagardère Publishing rose 7.7% in the first half of 2022 over 2021, to €1.22 billion. Earnings, however, fell 29%, to €81 million, which the company attributed to “inflationary pressures on production, transport, and labor costs.” The sales increase reflected a €59 million gain from the September 2021 acquisition of Workman Publishing and purchase of Paperblanks, a notebook and stationery publisher, as well as a €39 million positive impact from currency fluctuations.

In the U.S., sales at Hachette Book Group were up slightly thanks to the Workman purchase; excluding Workman, sales would have fallen 1.9% compared to the first half of 2021. HBG CEO Michael Pietsch said sales of trade paperbacks and digital audio rose in the period, backlist sales remained solid, and sales to independent bookstores were strong. In addition, sales in Canada were good, and HBG’s distribution business posted a sales gain.

Profits in the period remained strong, Pietsch said, but were below “2021’s extraordinary results due to sharply rising costs in paper, manufacturing, and shipping. “

Among HBG’s biggest hits in the first half of the year were Dolly Parton and James Patterson’s Run, Rose, Run and Colleen Hoover’s first suspense novel, Verity. HBG had a host of other #1 bestsellers, including new books by David Baldacci, Harlan Coben, Elin Hilderbrand, and Nicholas Sparks.

Elsewhere in the Lagardère Publishing group, sales in France were down 3.7% in what the company said was a “declining market.” Revenue at Hachette UK rose 1.5%, led by the success of the Heartstopper series titles, while several adult titles with BookTok and other social media mentions did well. In Spain/Latin America, revenue rose 7.4%, driven by a good performance in the trade segments in Mexico and Spain, which offset declines in education sales in Spain, Lagardère said. (All percentage change figures exclude one-time gains, such as acquisitions).

For the entire publishing group, digital audiobooks increased their share of revenue in the first half of the year, accounting for 4.5% of sales, up from 4.2% in the first half of 2021. E-books’ share dipped slightly, accounting for 7.6% of the division’s total revenue, versus 8.2% in first half 2021.

Forecasts for full year results are unchanged from the beginning of the year, which called for sales to be about flat with 2021 and profits to fall because of higher costs. Meanwhile, Vivendi’s takeover of Lagardère continued to move forward during the second quarter of the year; completion of the deal still needs approval from the French government.