Harry Potter helps Hachette UK to 30% third quarter sales rise

Harry Potter helps Hachette UK to 30% third quarter sales rise

The release of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playscript, published by Little, Brown, has helped Hachette UK to grow its sales by 30.1% in the third quarter, according to results issued by its parent company Lagardere. The release of the "eighth story" on 31st July to coincide with the showing of the play also helped Hachette UK achieve a sales rise of 8.3% for the nine months up to 30th September 2016.

The UK growth was attributed "partly" to the success of the playscript - which to date has sold 1,319,355 copies for £14.37m according to nielsen BookScan- and "partly" to the "solid performance" of its Education unit, especially at the secondary school level. 

Tim Hely Hutchinson, c.e.o of Hachette UK, said: "Hachette UK had an exceptionally strong third quarter, driven largely by J K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child published on 31st July, with record-breaking sales through the quarter, resulting in our significant year-to-date growth and corresponding rise in market share.

"Hodder Education also recorded an outstanding third quarter, with success in every area of the business: exceptional secondary front list publishing for curriculum change at GCSE and A level, especially in its traditionally strong humanities and social sciences subjects; ongoing success in assessment products, especially in primary maths and reading, and doubling of its digital platform sales in the quarter. This has all led to another impressive year-on-year gain in schools market share from Hodder Education."

Hely Hutchinson also credited Octopus for its "continuing strong performance" and singled out "key performing" titles to be Victoria Hislop’s Cartes Postales from Greece (Headline) Peter May’s Coffin Road (Quercus), Peter Robinson’s When the Music is Over (Hodder & Stoughton) and The Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking (Hodder & Stoughton).

Hely Hutchinson also said Christmas sales had "taken off" moving into the final quarter of the year. Quercus recently released its Enid Blyton Famous Five spoof books and Little, Brown will next week publish J K Rowling’s script of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to coincide with the release of the film.

Lagardere Publishing's revenues for the nine months to 30th September 2016 came to €1,645m (£1,792m), up 4.5% on a consolidated basis and up 4.1% like-for- like. In the third quarter they reached €675m (£735m), up 10.9% like-for-like.

Lagardere Publishing's growth in the first nine months was said to be driven by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in english worldwide, as well as by France (up 4.6%) due to the strength of its Education activity, and by the "solid performance" of Partworks (up 6.1%), especially in Japan and Spain.  

The US enjoyed 12.9% rise in revenues in the third quarter, thanks to "a stronger release schedule", and the success of Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks and A Woman of God by James Patterson. Revenues in France in the third quarter grew 7.8% due to curricular reform (primarily secondary school level) and the growth of illustrated books. Business however fell in the Spanish/Latin American region, down 8.4%. 

Sales for the company overall reached €1,976m (£2,152m) compared to €1,846m (£2011m) in 2015’s third quarter, up 6.1% like-for-like. For the period up to 30th September 2016, revenues totalled €5,407m (£5890m), up 2.5% like-for-like.