Random House profits marginally down in 2010

Random House profits marginally down in 2010

The Random House Group's turnover for 2010 is understood to have been £296m, staying level with 2009. Profit was slightly down on 2009, falling from £44.3m to £42.5m, following a year of digital investment and challenges in the high street retailing environment.

RHG chairman and c.e.o. Gail Rebuck declined to comment on the figures, but said the company is "very pleased" with 2010's performance, particularly since 2009's turnover included hardback sales of Dan Brown's bestseller The Lost Symbol. Trading conditions continued to be tough for the publisher throughout 2010, with the collapse of Borders UK at the end of 2009 and uncertainty over the future of Waterstone's continuing into 2011. It is understood the company invested heavily in infrastructure, anti-piracy strategies, staff training and, above all, digital projects.

Digital sales made up 2% of RHG's overall trade sales by the end of 2010, with RH having 4,724 titles available as e-books at the end of the year. Last year also saw the launch of the Brain Shots series and the Vintage Podcast, as well as horror imprint Hammer.

It is believed staff numbers have stayed approximately level with 2009‚ possibly increasing slightly overall‚ as digital staff were recruited but the publisher's Wellingborough distribution centre closed.

RHG's titles won 57 awards in 2010, taking a 30% share of the Sunday Times bestseller lists. Vintage and Transworld are understood to have been the publisher's strongest divisions, with top performing titles from across the publisher including those by Tony Blair, Lee Child and Jilly Cooper.