French publishing company La Martinière was founded in 1992 by Hervé de la Martinière with an initial focus on illustrated photography, heritage, art, and leisure books, and has since expanded to general trade books. La Martinière acquired Seuil in 2004.
French publishers under the La Martinière Groupe include Editions de La Martinière, Delachaux et Niestlé, Hermé, Seuil, Points, L’Olivier (90%), Le Sorbier, A.-M. Métailié (80%), Don Quichotte, Raconter la Vie, and Editions du Sous-Sol. La Martinière also holds minority stakes in Zulma (6%) and Esprit.
An increased share of La Martinière’s revenues come from international holdings such as Abrams (USA) and Knesebeck (Germany).
In early 2010, La Martinière partnered with Gallimard and Flammarion to launch the e-book platform Eden Livres.
In 2015, La Martinière sold Volumen and Loglibris, its French distribution subsidiaries, to Editis.
Analysis and Key Developments
As a privately owned company, La Martinière releases no other financial information than its annual revenues. The company experienced steady growth between 2007 and 2010, yet there was a drop of 9.2% in 2011 and another of 9.8% in 2013 against the previous year. Results from 2014 were on par with 2013.
After selling off its distribution arm in 2015, founder and head Hervé La Martinière announced the company would return to a policy of generating growth by focusing only on publishing.
La Martinière’s holding company augmented the group’s capital by 138% in early 2014 to a total of 8 million EUR.
In 2013, La Martinière cut down on new titles by 30% and laid off 19 employees.
In 2011, La Martinière took over the entire stock of the German publisher Knesebeck, of which it had held a majority stake since 2000.
In August 2011, La Martinière made an agreement with Google to digitize its out-of-print catalogue, five years after suing Google for its library digitization efforts.
La Martinière was among the first French publishers to sign up for Apple’s iBookstore in July 2011.