HBG Sales Rose 2.7% in 2017

Sales at the Hachette Book Group rose 2.7% last year, parent company Lagardere reported. The increase was attributed in part to contributions from Perseus (where You Are a Badass sold over 648,000 print copies) and its Nashville-based imprints (where The Shack had strong sales). HBG also benefited from a full year ownership of Perseus, which it acquired at the end of March in 2016.

Earlier this year. Lagardere reported that total revenue in the publishing group was €2.29 billion, up 1.1% over 2016. In its release Thursday, the company said EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) rose 1.0%, to €210 million. Similar to the sales gain, Lagardere said the profit improvement was “mainly attributable to a strong performance in the United States,” driven by “successful releases” as well as continued profitability gains from the consolidation of Perseus.

Among the authors HBG CEO Michael Pietsch crediting with contributing significantly to the publisher’s bottom line last year were James Patterson, David Baldacci, Michael Connelly, Rick Steves, and Sandra Brown. Pietsch added that HBG was “thrilled with phenomenal sales for Pete Souza’s Obama: An Intimate Portrait. That book, Pietsch added, “maintains its strong trajectory in 2018.”

The U.S. and Canada accounted for 27% of Lagardere publishing group’s total revenue in 2017 (about €618 million or $761 million at current exchange rates). This figures is the same percentage the U.S. and Canada accounted for in 2016. In its presentation to analysts, Lagardere said that e-book sales fell again in 2017 in the U.S. and U.K., but at a slower pace than between 2015 and 2016. Some of the e-book decline was offset by a 20% increase in downloadable audio sales.

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