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11.08.11 | Graeme Neill
HarperCollins has had its best financial year since 2008, with e-book sales accounting for 10% of total revenue during the past four weeks, its c.e.o. has said.
Victoria Barnsley was speaking as parent company NewsCorp reported its financial results overnight. The media conglomerate no longer strips out performance for HarperCollins and there was no mention of the publisher .
The UK publisher declined to give sales or profit figures. C.e.o. and publisher Victoria Barnsley said: "This has been a great year for HarperCollins UK in which we recorded the highest turnover, the highest profit and the best margin for three years. A great success by any measure but especially in the current economic climate and one which shows our investment strategy of recent years is paying off. Digital sales continue to expand, growing seven fold year-on-year, and accounting for 10% of home trade revenue in recent weeks."
Barnsley's statement appears to confirm just how integral e-book sales are to a publisher's financial performance. According to figures from Nielsen Bookscan, which does not record e-book sales, for the year to 18th June 2011, HarperCollins had sales of £122.7m, compared to £132.7m for the same period in 2010. The publisher has previously said it is impossible to fully measure performance without digital sales.
Among the titles and authors Barnsley identified were Brian Cox's Wonders of the Universe, Frankie Boyle's My Sh*t Life So Far, Jonathan Franzen's Freedom and Michael Morpurgo, Darren Shan and David Walliams in children's. She added: "Our information businesses, Languages, Geo and Education, turned in a great performance, following our two-pronged growth strategy of repurposing content across multiple platforms and expanding into international markets."
Although released after the end of its financial year in June, Barnsley also described George RR Martin's A Dance with Dragons as a "stand-out success".