Hachette's first-half profits rise a 'remarkable' 60%

<p>Hachette Publishing pushed its earnings before interest up by 61.1% to &euro;112m in its half year to end-June, according to results put out by its parent company Lagard&egrave;re Publishing. The French group said the &quot;excellent performance&quot; was &quot;all the more remarkable given that the publishing sector is actually contracting slightly in all the markets where we operate&quot;.</p><p>It added that much of this growth was due to the success of the Stephenie Meyer saga, not only in the US but also in France, the UK and Australia.</p><p>Lagardere revealed its sales figures at the end of July. First-half revenues were &euro;1,009m, up 11.1% on a reported basis and 11.5% on a like-for-like basis, driven by Meyer. Hachette UK recorded a first half sales uplift of 12%, which its c.e.o. Tim Hely Hutchinson described at the time as &quot;a considerable achievement in view of the very poor conditions in the UK book trade&quot;. Profit figures were not released.</p><p>Hachette did provide a breakdown of its sales by region: in the first quarter out of overall publishing sales of &euro;462.8m, UK and Australia made up 19% or &euro;88m in sales; in the second quarter UK and Australia contributed 24% out of overall sales of &euro;546.2m, with revenue of &euro;131m. </p><p>In it half-year results, Lagard&egrave;re added that there had been a reduction in the contribution from Partworks and (more marginally) education had a negative effect on recurring earnings before interest and associates for the first half of 2009.</p>