Hachette parent company Lagardère has reported net sales for Hachette UK up 1.5% in 2013.
Releasing its full year net sales for 2013, Lagardere as a whole was down 1.3% on 2012, to a total of €7.216bn. However its publishing division had a “good performance in almost all markets” and Lagardère said books including Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography led to “exceptional performance” of its publishing division in the UK. Net sales across Lagardere Publishing were up 1.9% to €2.066bn.
For the UK group, e-book sales increased by 42% and represented 27% of adult trade sales compared to 20% in 2012. Lagardere said the e-book market is “still rising in the UK”.
Across the Lagardere Publishing division, e-books represented 10.4% of the division’s sales in 2013, up from 7.8% in 2012, with the digital transition “for the time being essentially limited to the US and UK markets”.
Lagardere said there were “outstanding performances in general literature” in the UK, US and France and in partworks, which offset an expected decline in activity in education in France and Spain.
Lagardere Publishing had a strong fourth quarter in 2013, with net sales up 6.7% on a like-for-like basis and 4.3% on a reported basis, “with the difference due to a negative currency effect of €18m”.
The fourth quarter had “excellent” performances for partworks, illustrated books and general literature.
The UK was up 12.6% in the fourth quarter of 2013, benefiting from “the publication of some best-sellers in fiction and non-fiction, including Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography.
Partworks grew by 25.1% in the fourth quarter of 2013 in all markets excluding Spain, with “major commercial successes” in the UK, Japan and Russia.
In the UK digital sales accounted for 22% of net sales for adult trade in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to 19% for the same period the year before.
Responding to the results, Hachette UK said digital sales topped £70m in 2013. Tim Hely Hutchinson, Hachette UK c.e.o., said: “2013 was another stand out year for Hachette UK, in fact it was one of our best years ever. We estimate that our combined e and p sales give us a UK market share of 15% in 2013.
“We are the leading e-book publisher by some margin and January 2014 is our best month ever for digital sales.”
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