Egmont is a leading Nordic media group that is active in 30 countries with 6,200 employees. The company’s media portfolio includes Nordisk Film, TV 2 in Norway, cinemas, book publishers, educational publishers and PlayStation as well as a number of partly owned film companies.
Egmont operates under The Egmont Foundation, which annually donates a share of the profits from the media companies to institutes, organizations and projects for vulnerable children.
Egmont Publishing was created in November 2013 from Egmont Kids Media and Egmont Magazines. The unit produces over 700 weekly and monthly magazines, as well as children’s books and brand licensing. It also operates digital services and e-commerce.
Egmont Books consists of Norway's largest publisher, Cappelen Damm, and Denmark's second-largest publisher, Lindhardt og Ringhof. Egmont Books publishes fiction and nonfiction, children's books, audiobooks, e-books and educational materials. Egmont’s non-Scandinavian book publishing activities include the Turkish publisher Dogan Egmont and the Australian press Hardie Grant.
Analysis & Key Developments
In 2016 Egmont’s total revenue surpassed 2015’s record level by 2.4% when adjusted for currency, acquisitions and divestments. Earnings were solid but slipped compared to 2015. Total revenue amounted to 1.56 billion EUR compared to 1.58 billion EUR in the prior year. The operating profit declined again from 97 million EUR in 2015 to 74 million EUR during 2016.
The Publishing division, formed in 2013 to include Egmont Kids Media and Egmont Magazines, again recorded a decrease in revenues in 2016, from 594 million EUR in the previous year to 529 million EUR. The decrease reflects lower magazine circulations and reduction in print advertising. The division also announced a full exit from Russia and the Czech Republic, and a partial exit from VGS in Germany.
Egmont Books revenues from Lindhardt og Ringhof were flat compared to the prior year and represented 44 million EUR. The division’s operating profit was also flat at 6 millon EUR. Due to amendments to the International Financial Report Standards, revenues from Cappelen Damm are no longer included in the consolidated financial statements.
During 2016 Egmont sold shares in a number of companies, mainly OB Team AS and Venuepoint. Although all shares in OB Team were sold, Egmont still owns 50% of Venuepoint. All shares in Egmont Russia, Egmont Czech Republic and the TV2 subsidiary, Nordic World AS, were also sold.
In December 2016 Egmont Publishing acquired a 45 percent stake in KAN, becoming the largest shareholder. KAN’s founders, who all remain as company employees, hold the remaining equity. The digital media agency KAN was a further step in Egmont’s strategic drive to grow the company’s digital communications and marketing businesses.
During January 2017 Egmont Publishing became co-owner of Swedish e-commerce company Outnorth, to continue its expansion in e-commerce.
Egmont’s business in Germany remained solid due to pocket books and new magazines. In Cologne the book business was split up, and the series under the LYX brand were sold off to Bastei Lubbe. The remaining part, consisting of children books and manga series, was integrated into the Berlin office. The English-speaking region again enjoyed a successful year, attributed to the launching of a number of new magazines and strong sales from co-editions and rights deals. The Polish business remained strong. Joint publishing ventures in Finland, China, Australia and Turkey all developed positively based on strong rights and good sales channel management, and the market positions were strengthened.
Saga Books was launched in 2015 and established itself in 2016 in Germany and Sweden due to seven asset deals including Steinbach Sprechende Bücher, Svenske Ljud Classicas and Forlaget Rosenkilde.
Lindhardt og Ringhof’s 2016 fiction list was comprised of well-reviewed bestsellers such as Merete Pryds Helle’s Folkets skønhed and Mich Vraa’s Haabet. The Danish crime author Leif Davidsen published Djævelen i hullet, which held a comfortable position in the top three bestseller lists throughout the fall. Garth Risk Hallberg’s Byen Brænder (City of Fire) was an international sensation and was published with great success in early spring. Other prominent fiction titles in Denmark during 2015 included Jorn Riel’s memoires Mit livs skrøne, Benn Q Holm’s De levende og de døde, Stephenie Meyer’s thriller Kemikeren (The Chemist), Svetlana Aleksijevij’s Zinkdrengene (Boys in Zink) as well as Karl Ove Knausgard’s Om vinteren and Om foråret. The erotic bestseller series Calendar Girl was also successful.
The nonfiction division held its position with authors such as Jamie Oliver, Yotam Ottolenghi and Antony Beevor. Topping the bestseller lists in this segment were the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize winner Joby Warrick’s Sort flag (Black Flag), a book on ISIS, and Geeti Amiri’s Glansbillider, a critical view on minorities and the Danish welfare system Glansbillider.