Italy’s De Agostini S.p.A. is a family-owned international group, founded in 1901 and controlled by B&D Holding. The holding company is organized as a financial conglomerate that operates in the publishing, gaming, media communications and the financial sector. The sub-holding firm De Agostini Editore is present in 30 countries with publications in 13 languages. The group’s publishing businesses include De Agostini Publishing, De Agostini Libri, Editions Atlas France/Suisse, and Digital De Agostini.
De Agostini Publishing creates partworks and engages in direct marketing, with a production that ranges from sample collections to hobby courses, educational and edutainment products for children, flow packs and trading cards, cards and video, and products for digital devices. The publisher offers more than 260 collections per year in the 43 countries where it operates.
Editions Atlas France and Editions Atlas Suisse operate in direct marketing, mainly in French and German-speaking countries.
De Agostini Libri coordinates and manages the publishing activities on the Italian market, focusing on the production of books, guides, cartographic editions and scholarly publishing. De Agostini Scuola S.p.A. is one of the leading scholarly publishers, selling to schools and institutions of all levels.
Digital De Agostini was formed to develop the presence of De Agostini on digital platforms, including television, online, and mobile handsets. Digital De Agostini produces and manages original editorial content.
Analysis & Key Developments
Results for De Agostini’s publishing division Attivittà Editoriali include traditional book publishing, publication and distribution of partworks, and direct marketing. Revenue from digital content for television adaptation TV channels has been excluded to the extent that the reporting allowed. Changes in reporting as well as retrospective restated revenue and EBITDA figures have made direct year on year comparisons challenging since 2014, when de Agostini was more specific on what was summarized under its publishing division. Results were driven primarily by the publication of popular partworks, which brought 356 million EUR in 2014, a drop of 9.6% against 2013, with a continued decline until 2016.
Mergers & Acquisition, Internal Organization
In 2016, De Agostini, together with its long-time partner Planea, initiated a new joint venture, DeA Planeta Books, in an effort to “restore” editorial cooperation and new projects, with operations starting in 2017.
De Agostini divested from several publishing operations in 2016, including White Star (at a negative payment of 0.1 million EUR), and its international holdings in Atlas.
In April 2014 De Agostini Libri and Timbuktu, a start-up that develops digital products for children, signed an agreement to launch new books and interactive apps for young readers aged between 6 and 9.
As part of a restructuring, de Agostini Editore dissolved the Professional and Training division.