Mondadori operates four trade publishing houses: Edizioni Mondadori, Giulio Einaudi editore, Edizioni Piemme and Sperling & Kupfer, the last of which also includes Frassinelli.
Mondadori Education holds a 13% share in the Italian textbook market, while Mondadori Electa publishes art and illustrated books and provides museums with management services for exhibitions and cultural events.
Mondadori leads the overall Italian publishing market with a 26.5 % share in trade and education combined.
Results from the direct sales and retail division are not incorporated in this report. Mondadori operates a network of 628 stores throughout Italy.
Mondadori was founded in 1907. Arnoldo Mondadori Editore shares are listed on the Milan stock exchange.
Analysis & Key Developments
Revenues totaled 337 million EUR for fiscal 2014, up 0.7% from the previous year. The educational unit was a strong contributor, where turnover grew 1.6%, and offset the downturn in trade sales. There was also growth in distribution of books from third-party publishers, with revenue of 34.2 million EUR in 2014, an increase of 16 million EUR from the previous year. The growth came mainly from services offered to the De Agostini publishing house.
Mondadori continued a positive revenue trend in school textbook sales across all school levels and of museum management activities, resulting in an increase in EBITDA. Trade EBITA was 45 million EUR, down 2.4% from the previous year.
The Mondadori Group consolidated its children's imprints from both Arnoldo Mondadori Editore and Piemme to create a unified children's publishing unit. The company announced that the new Mondadori Group Children's Book Division will have a 24% market share. Lorenzo Garavaldi will be managing director of the group and Enrico Racca will be editorial director, overseeing both Mondadori Ragazzi and Battello a Vapore.
In January 2015, Enrico Selva Coddè was appointed Managing Director of Mondadori Libri’s trade unit. He follows Riccardo Cavallero.
The Board of Directors of Arnoldo Mondadori Editore approved a spinoff of their book publishing and book distribution operations as a separate, freestanding company in November 2014. The new company is called Mondadori Libri and became active in January 1, 2015. The move was made encourage mergers and acquisitions.
Mondadori made a non-binding offer to acquire its competitor RCS Libri in February 2015. The deal could be worth 125–150 million EUR, according to Reuters. RCS Mediagroup granted Mondadori an exclusive evaluation period lasting until May 29th with the objective of establishing the terms and conditions of an eventual transaction.
Digital sales represented 4.8% of total revenues in 2014, up from 3.9% of 2013. The number of total downloads in 2014 was 2.1 million, an increase of 17% from 1.8 million in the previous year. Mondadori’s catalogue comprises 8,000 titles.
In fiscal 2014, Mondadori started to offer advance digital delivery, providing e-books one or two weeks before the release of the printed copy.
In order to support the growth of e-books, Mondadori bought the social reading platform Anobii, which by then had one million users worldwide and 300,000 members in Italy. In 2014, the online book community counts 57 million page hits and 2.6 million single users, with 56% coming from Italian; 22% from Chinese countries; 3% from the United States, Spain, and Japan; 2% from the UK, and, lastly, and 1% from Germany. To increase traffic, Mondadori launched an App for smartphones and re-designed the website, with a new version expected to be launched in 2015.
Four titles ranked in the top ten on bestseller lists, including Storia di una ladra di libri by Markus Zusak at number one. An additional six books landed in the top 25 bestseller ranking, and I giorni dell’eternità by Ken Follett was #4 on the bestseller list for the year. E l’eco rispose by K. Hosseini remained at the top of the general bestseller list for 14 consecutive weeks.
The challenging economic situation in Italy had significant reverberations on Mondadori’s publishing operations. According to Nielsen, books decreased by 2.3% and by 6.2% in value in 2013 (-13.8% in the two-year period). To align expenses with the trend of flagging sales, the group implemented a cost reduction plan and expects a total savings of 100 million EUR by the end of 2015.
Mondadori dominates the trade market with a market share of 27% and an average of 10 titles in the top 20 bestseller list for the year with books at #1 positions for 23 weeks out of the year. The Fifty Shades trilogy left a revenue void of -9.8%. In 2013, revenues amounted to 334 million EUR, compared to 371 million EUR in 2012. The biggest contribution in terms of sales came from Edizioni Mondadori with 105 million EUR, followed by Mondadori Education (72 million EUR) and Einaudi (42 million EUR).
Revenues of Edizioni Mondadori fell 19,1% against the previous year with corresponding impact on EBITDA.
Despite difficult macro-economic condition, revenue from Mondadori’s textbook and art books reversed a years-long decline in 2013. Textbooks increased their market share to 13% due to the extensive offering for all grades. Sales of art books were up 12.7% based on affiliations with museums and exhibition management.
In March 2014, Mondadori acquired the e-reading community Anobii from the British retail chain Sainsbury’s. Penguin, Random House and HarperCollins previously had a stake in the platform. Anobii has more than one million users, with roughly 300,000 in Italy.
E-books developed very well with a jump of 70% and 2 million downloads. Currently, e-books amount to approximately 6,000 bestselling authors & titles. The most downloaded title was Inferno by Dan Brown (65,000), followed by Khaled Hosseini’s books with approximately 30,000 downloads.
Bestselling authors & titles
Top sellers in 2013 were Dan Brown’s Inferno (selling 600,000 copies in print and digital in 2013), La strada verso casa by Fabio Volo (350,000 copies sold in two months), Bianca come il latte, rossa come il sangue by Alessandro D’Avenia (200,000 in the tie-in format and half a million copies overall) and Io che amo solo te by Luca Bianchini. The Italian translation of E.L. James’s Fifty Shades trilogy is still selling well with 1 million copies sold of its mass-market edition.