Costs Cut into Profits at Big Publishers (

Simon & Schuster was the only one of the country’s four largest trade publishers to show an improved profit margin in the first half of 2023 compared to last year.

In reporting Penguin Random House’s first-half results last week, where sales rose 9.5% but profits were up less than 1%, interim global CEO Nihar Malaviya told employees the small earnings increase “should come as no surprise, as industry inflationary cost pressures and increased costs across our businesses have continued to impact us.”

HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray noted earlier that in addition to higher manufacturing, freight, and distribution costs, the industry has faced macroeconomic headwinds that he hasn’t seen since the Great Recession of 2008.

Profits fell 19.7% at Lagardère Publishing despite a 2.5% increase in six-month sales. In addition to inflationary pressures, Lagardère cited increased costs incurred on “transformation projects in France” as the reason for the earnings decline.
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