E-Books and Fifty Shades Drive Random House to Record Profits

Revenues at Random House grew to €947 million ($1.19 billion) in the first half of 2012, up from €787 million in the first half of 2011 on the strength of selling 30 million copies of Fifty Shades of Grey, half of which were e-books.

Company profits also rose precipitously to €113 million, up from €69 million in the first half of 2011, the company announced today in a statement.

“Growth in our e-book sales, which continued to rise significantly in each of our divisions, was complemented by our increasing market share among physical retailers,” said Random House chairman and CEO Markus Dohle in a letter to the company.

According to a company spokesperson, digital revenues as a share of total company revenues rose in the first half of 2012 to 27% in the U.S., up from 20% in the first half of 2011. Perhaps more significant for the world’s largest publisher is that worldwide digital revenues were 22% of total revenues. The 27% in the U.S. is in line with recent first half numbers from Random House rival Hachette.

In the letter, Dohle credited Random House’s author-focused strategy with the company’s success.

“We are always actively working to drive change around us, this year in particular by expanding the scope of services and tools we offer our authors. We also are working diligently to get even closer to readers to help them discover our books,” he said.



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