HBG Reports Half Year Sales Down 7.8%

Hachette Book Group parent company Lagardère Publishing reported Friday that HBG revenues for the first half of 2015, down 7.8% from 2014. HBG CEO Michael Pietsch blamed the drop on “a tough comparison” to strong early 2014 sales and—in a reference to its new sales agreement with Amazon—pointed to a slowdown in e-book sales “due to e-tailers no longer discounting many e-books at a loss.”

In the first half of 2015, U.S. e-books represented 24% of net trade sales, down from 29% at the end of June 2014. The drop was due to a lighter schedule of titles and, Lagardère said, “the implementation of the agreement with Amazon.”

In 2014 HBG revenues declined 4.8% from 2013, reflecting Hachette’s battle with Amazon over terms, strong sales in 2013 and a decline (19%) in e-book sales in the 4th quarter of 2014.

Nevertheless, HBG reported 87 print bestsellers and 15 e-book bestsellers for the period. Piestch reported “major successes” such as Dan Santat’s Beekle, which won a Caldecott Medal, and Minions tie-in titles (attached to the animated feature film), which have shipped more than 2 million copies. The audio version of Malala Yousafzai’s I Am Malala, won a Grammy and other 2015 HBG bestsellers include David Baldacci’s Memory Man, James Patterson’s The 14th Deadly Sin and Dana Perino’s And The Good News Is.

read more/source: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/financial-reporting/article/67666-hbg-reports-half-year-sales-down-7-8.html

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