Sales, Earnings Rose 6% at PRH in 2019 (

Acquisitions, organic growth, and favorable exchange rates all contributed to a record year for Penguin Random House in 2019, parent company Bertelsmann reported. Revenue rose 6.2% last year, to €3.64 billion, up from €3.42 billion in 2018. EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) increased 6.3% over 2018, to €561 million.

Acquisitions in the year included the Little Tiger Group in the U.K., Ediciones Salamandra in Spain, a stake in Sourcebooks, and the purchase of global publishing rights for bestselling children’s author Eric Carle.

In the U.S., which accounted for just over 56% of total PRH sales (about $2.2 billion at current exchange rates), gains were led by Where the Crawdads Sing, which Bertelsmann said sold more than four million copies across all formats, while Educated and Becoming each sold more than two million copies. In children’s books, books by Dr. Seuss sold more than 10 million copies in the year. Bertelsmann also cited audiobooks as a growth driver not only in the U.S., but in most of its markets.

In comments accompanying release of the year-end financials, Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe said the company intends to “continue to expand Penguin Random House’s businesses over the next few years, including through acquisitions.”
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