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Lagardère announces Q1 2019 revenue

Paris-May 7, 2019

Lagardère announced results for First Quarter 2019 today. Highlights of the company’s financial performance are as follows:

At Hachette Book Group:
CEO Michael Pietsch said, “HBG’s first quarter revenues, on a like for like basis, rose thanks to successful publications for major new titles – Run Away by Harlan Coben, The Cornwalls Are Gone by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois, The Fallen by David Baldacci, The Case for Trump by Victor Davis Hanson, and The Keto Diet by Dr. Josh Axe – as well as popular backlist fiction such as Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple and recent Indies Choice winner Circe by Madeline Miller.  Q1 also saw continued growth in downloadable audio, and strong performance from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, which brought out Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai’s book about refugees, We Are Displaced, and had its fourth Caldecott Medal winner in the past five years, Sophie Blackall’s Hello Lighthouse.

The second quarter has begun with honors for several Little, Brown authors: the Edgar Award for Best Novel for Walter Mosley’s Down the River Unto the Sea, a James Beard Award for Christopher Kimball’sMilk Street: Tuesday Nights, and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Beth Macy’s Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America.

In May, we publish several of our most anticipated books of the year – Thomas Harris’s first new thriller in twelve years, Cari Mora, Admiral William McRaven’s Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations, and Jared Diamond’s monumental Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis.  We’ll close out the second quarter with major June titles including George Will’s The Conservative Sensibility, Elin Hilderbrand’s Summer of ’69, Kate Atkinson’s Big Sky, and Unsolved by James Patterson and David Ellis.

At Hachette Livre:
Hachette Livre delivered revenue of €460M, up 4.1% on a consolidated basis (up 0.9% like for like). The difference between consolidated and like for like revenue is due to a positive (+€12M) foreign exchange effect linked primarily to the appreciation of the US dollar and, to a lesser extent, a positive (+€2M) scope effect with HBG’s acquisition of Worthy Publishing. The figures below are like for like:

  • In France: Q1 2019 revenues were up 1.9%, reflecting good performances from General Literature which more than offset the retreat in Illustrated Books. Also noteworthy was the sharp growth in the Mobile Games business.
  • In the US: business in the U.S. “delivered solid growth (up 3.3%) on the back of good momentum in digital audio books and successful new releases at Perseus (including Victor Davis Hanson’s The Case for Trump), at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers with Malala Yousafzai’s We Are Displaced and at Little, Brown and Company with James Patterson’s The Cornwalls are Gone,” according to Lagardère’s press release.
  • In the UK: the contraction in revenue in the United Kingdom (down 3.7%) mainly reflected an unfavorable comparison with Q1 2018, which had been lifted by the successful publication of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury. This impact was partially offset by a good backlist performance, with Stephen Hawking’s Brief Answers to the Big Questions (published by John Murray), growth in digital audio books and a good showing from Bookouture.
  • In Spain/Latin America: revenues were up 3.4% driven by good performances in the General Literature segment.
  • Partworks: revenues rose 1.4%, mainly as a result of a larger and more successful number of launches, notably in Japan, good momentum in Italy and the bestselling Les Voitures de Tintin collection in France.
  • Ebooks: accounted for 9.1% of total Lagardère Publishing revenue in Q1 2019, stable compared to Q1 2018, while digital audio books represented 3.8% of revenue versus 2.5% in Q1 2018.

At Lagardère:
The Lagardère group reported revenue of €1.708 billion in the first quarter, up 8.9% like for like and up 9.8% consolidated versus Q1 2018. The difference between consolidated and like for like sales reflects reflects a positive (+€33M) foreign exchange effect due to the appreciation of the US dollar and a negative (-€12M) scope effect related to the disposal of magazine publishing titles in France and international radio operations by Lagardère Active, partially offset by the acquisition of Hojeij Branded Foods (HBF) at Lagardère Travel Retail.

Read Lagardère’s press release for further details.