Lagardère’s publishing group managed to shake off slowing industry book sales to post a 12% increase in the third quarter, with worldwide revenue hitting €780 million ($781 million). Excluding the contribution from Workman Publishing, which was acquired last September, and the impact of favorable exchange rates, sales rose 3.6%. Lagardère does not break out earnings results in its quarterly updates.

At Hachette Book Group, revenue, excluding Workman results, rose 4.7% in the quarter, which was attributed in part to the success of Colleen Hoover’s Verity, which has sold almost 1.7 million copies in 2022, according to NPD BookScan. In addition to Verity, HBG CEO Michael Pietsch attributed the increase to growth in downloadable audio and in HBG's distribution business.

For the first nine months of the year,  Pietsch said sales were slightly behind an "extraordinarily strong" 2021 (excluding Workman results). Pietsch pointed to a slew of big books coming in the quarter from such authors as David Baldacci, Michael Connelly, Patricia Cornwell, Elin Hilderbrand, Christopher Kimball, Andrew Morton, Joel Osteen, and James Patterson.

Elsewhere at Lagardère Publishing, year-on-year sales in France were up 1% in the quarter, as gains in trade publishing were offset by declines in education. In the U.K., revenue increased 8.6%, where the gain was also helped by sales of Verity. Revenue in Spain/Latin America increased 10.5%, buoyed by the roll-out of curriculum reform in Spain as well as a solid performance in the trade segment, Lagardère reported.

E-books accounted for 9% of total Lagardère Publishing revenue in the third quarter of 2022, compared to 8.4% in third-quarter 2021. Digital audio books represented 4% of revenue, and 3.6% in the same period one year earlier.

Publishing revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2022, increased 9.3%, to just under €2 billion. Excluding the additions of Workman and Paperblanks, which added €90 million, and the €66 million gain from currency fluctuations, sales were up 0.8%.

Lagardère still expects publishing revenue for the full year to be even with 2021, with a slight decline in earnings.