S&S sees 8.8% sales rise in first quarter

S&S sees 8.8% sales rise in first quarter

Global sales at Simon & Schuster hit $185m (£133m) in the first quarter of 2021, an increase of $15m (£10.8m) and 8.8% on last year, figures released by US parent company ViacomCBS show.

The publisher is currently listed under “discontinued operations” in ViacomCBS' accounts, as the $2.2bn sale to Bertelsmann is pending regulatory review.

Its results for the three months ending 31st March 2021 show an operating income before other items of $27m (£19.4m), an increase of 80% from $15m (£10.8m) a year ago.

All operating divisions were up, with digital sales increasing 8%, compared with flat e-book sales.

The company saw successful sales of backlist titles, including books by Ernest Hemingway, and the paperback edition of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Audio and international sales saw some of the biggest increases, the company said.

Ian Chapman, c.e.o. of Simon & Schuster UK, said: "As reported by ViacomCBS S&S has started this year as we ended the last, continuing to grow in both revenues and profits globally. Children’s publishing revenues grew across picture books and fiction with Adam Silvera, Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, Ben Miller and Michelle Harrison delivering bestsellers.

"We’ve also seen a general sales uplift across women’s fiction: Patricia Scanlan’s A Family Reunion has seen a 30% uplift and Holly Hepburn’s Coming Home to Brightwater Bay up 34%. Santa Montefiore’s Flappy Entertains hit the hardcover fiction top ten, and Louise Candlish’s The Other Passenger selling nearly 200k across all formats and spending two weeks in the top ten at the start of the year. Sarah Vaughn’s Little Disasters was Waterstones Thriller of the Month and hit number three in the Waterstones Saturday chart. In non-fiction, Peter Oborne’s The Assault on Truth hit the Sunday Times chart, and given the launch of Gallery with announcements including Bob Mortimer and Dave Grohl, and a strong paperback list at Scribner, we have an exciting autumn to look forward to."