Hachette UK’s parent company Lagardere has released its results for 2014, showing that profits at Lagardere Publishing, which includes Hachette UK as well as other publishing divisions across the world, were €197m, down by 12% or €26m year-on-year.
Sales for 2014 came to €2,004m, down 4.5% from the year before.
Lagardere said the drop in its Publishing division was "due mainly to the contraction of activity in General Literature in France and in English-speaking countries,” and added: “The implementation of cost-cutting nonetheless helped limit its effects.”
The company said: “2014 was a transition year for Lagardère Publishing, whose top-line figure, as expected, was marked an unfavourable comparison driven by the large number of best-sellers in 2013.
“Note also the significant decline in Education, due to the lack of renewal of Textbook programmes, particularly in France.”
It was revealed last month that Hachette UK had a sales downturn of 4.6% across 2014, which Lagardere attributed to the impact of a strong 2013 "which had gained from the exceptional success of Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography as well as The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith”.
But Hachette UK c.e.o. Hely Hutchinson maintained that 2014 was “a very good year” for his company and predicted that great publishing would ensure that sales and profits at Hachette UK move ahead again in 2015.
Speaking following the Lagardere announcement, Hely Hutchinson said: “We have an exceptionally strong publishing programme for 2015 which includes, amongst many others, Millennium IV (MacLehose Press) coming in August and two enormously exciting announcements that we have made just today (11th March): Alex Ferguson’s Leading (Hodder) and the long-awaited sequel to Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts’ The Mountain Shadow (Little, Brown) both published this October.”
He continued. “We are already off to a flying start in 2015 with exceptional sales for Deliciously Ella (Yellow Kite), The Silkworm (Sphere), Davina’s Five Weeks to Sugar Free (Orion), The Great Comic Relief Bake Off (Hodder & Stoughton) and Penny Vincenzi’s A Perfect Heritage (Headline Review) and we are on schedule to move to our lovely new offices from April.”
Overall Lagardere, which in addition to publishing also has services,sports and entertainment, magazine and radio businesses among others, said that in 2014 the “group’s operating performance featured improved profitability”.
Lagardere has also announced that Arnaud Lagardere's mandate to head up the Lagardere group has been renewed for the next six years, with effect from 26th March 2015.