The inclusion of Harlequin and strong sales of Chris Kyle’s memoir American Sniper (William Morrow) helped HarperCollins to a 14% increase in revenues in the three months to 31st March, compared to the year before.
But e-book revenues declined 3% year-on-year, HarperCollins’ parent company News Corp has said, in its latest quarterly results.
Revenues for HarperCollins were $402m in the quarter, up 14% from $354m in the previous year. News Corp said the increase was driven by the inclusion of results from Harlequin, which was bought by News Corp in May 2014, and by “strong backlist sales in general books resulting from the continued popularity of American Sniper by Chris Kyle, partially offset by lower revenues from the Divergent series”.
The decline in e-book revenues was “driven by lower contribution from the Divergent series as well as a shift towards the non-fiction genre, which has lower e-book conversion, partially offset by the inclusion of Harlequin results”.
News Corp said e-book revenues represented 22% of customer revenues for the quarter.
EBITDA increased $3m, or 6% from $53m in the same quarter 2014, to $56m this year, again due to the inclusion of Harlequin results and “lower expenses, partially offset by lower contribution from the Divergent series”.
The results do not break out the performance of HarperCollins in the UK.
In a conference call about the results, News Corp c.e.o. Robert Thomson revealed he had read Harper Lee’s forthcoming book Go Set a Watchman. The Telegraph reported that Thomson said: “I expect it to have a profound impact.”