HarperCollins’ global sales have risen by 6% ($23m) in the third quarter, driven by the success of its digital audiobooks, its Christian publishing, and strong backlist sales, and with David Walliams' Fing contributing to the UK business’ growth.
In parent company News Corp’s report for its third quarter fiscal results for the period ending 31st March, HarperCollins showed a boost of $23m, or 6%, from $398m to $421m. Across the nine month period ending 31st March, revenue rose by 5%, from $1,268m to $1,335m.
News Corp c.e.o. Robert Thomson praised News Corp’s publishing business, saying: “For the third quarter, the Company saw 17% revenue growth and a 36% increase in profitability, reflecting the consolidation of Foxtel and the sterling performance overall at HarperCollins.... HarperCollins delivered a particularly strong result, with profitability increasing 29%, highlighted by 30% revenue growth in digital audio books and increased revenue from its comprehensive backlist and a strong suite of new releases, which are generating much momentum.”
The 29% boost in segment EBITDA, from $41m in 2018 to $53m, for the three month period, was “driven by impressive new releases and strong backlist sales,” according to the report. For the nine month period ending 31st March, the Segment EBITDA was up by a quarter, from $167m to $209m.
Growth was primarily due to higher sales in Christian Publishing, News Corp said, driven by the success of new titles such as Girl, Stop Apologizing by American author, blogger and motivational speaker Rachel Hollis, along with We are the Gardeners by designer Joanna Gaines, as well as the continued performance of backlist titles such as Hollis' Girl, Wash Your Face.
While the UK publishing's results were not broken out, it was cited as performing strongly in the report. “HarperCollins’ UK business also contributed to the revenue growth with its successful release of Fing by David Walliams,” News Corp said.