Hachette UK has reported a “solid” third quarter, slightly down on last year due to slow sales in Education, as parent company Lagardère revealed a 4.1% revenue increase like-for-like.
In a report on the nine months to 30th September, Lagardère said group revenue totalled €2 billion versus €1.9 billion in 2018, an increase of 5.5% on a consolidated basis and of 4.1% like-for-like. Lagardère Publishing saw revenue up 6.6%, driven by “solid performances in France on the back of the 2019 high school curriculum reform, in Spain with primary school curriculum reform, and in Partworks, as well as by robust momentum for mobile games”.
Results for the UK business were not broken out, but Hachette UK c.e.o. David Shelley said the quarter was slightly behind 2018. He said: “HUK had a solid Q3, marginally below last year. This is due to slower sales in Education (the market being impacted by schools’ budgets) although, relative to the rest of the education market, it has had a good performance – increasing market share overall this year from 21.2 to 21.9% in the UK, with notably excellent performances in Further Education and Secondary.”
Shelley hailed the “standout performance” of digital imprint Bookouture which, in August, recorded cumulative sales of over 30m since it was founded in 2012. Sales of Short Books, acquired by Ocotpus in 2019, had also been “particularly strong”.
Bestsellers included Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (Headline), The Fast 800 Recipe Book by Dr Clare Bailey and Justine Pattison (Short Books), From the Oven to the Table by Diana Henry (Octopus) and The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf (HCG).
Shelley said: “HUK predicts a strong final quarter in 2019 and we are on course for an excellent finish to the year. Hodder & Stoughton report record-breaking sales for Stephen King’s The Institute and amongst the group’s bestsellers are Tall Tales and Wee Stories: The Best of Billy Connolly (John Murray Press); Glastonbury by Michael and Emily Eavis (Orion), Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner (Hodder and Stoughton), The Night Fire by Michael Connelly (Orion), No Mercy by Martina Cole (Headline) and The Guardians by John Grisham (Hodder & Stoughton).”