At Hachette Book Group: HBG had a solid first quarter, with revenues slightly below budget but gross profit ahead of budget, driven by strong continuing sales of 2013 bestsellers THE GOLDFINCH (winner of the Pulitzer Prize), I AM MALALA, Malcolm Gladwell’s DAVID AND GOLIATH, and GRAIN BRAIN by Dr. David Perlmutter. New books leading sales include PRIVATE L.A. by James Patterson, LONE SURVIVOR by Marcus Luttrell, FIRST LOVE by James Patterson, UGANDA BE KIDDING ME by Chelsea Handler, KING AND MAXWELL by David Baldacci, THE GODS OF GUILT by Michael Connelly, and THE BLOOD SUGAR SOLUTION 10 DAY DETOX DIET by Mark Hyman. HBG has had 70 titles on the New York Times bestseller list in print and 28 titles on the New York Times ebook bestseller chart in the first three months of the year, with 16 #1 bestsellers in the first quarter.
CEO Michael Pietsch said “HBG had a tough comparison due to Q1 2013 movie tie in bestsellers of Nicholas Sparks’s SAFE HAVEN, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, and Stephenie Meyer’s THE HOST, but new bestsellers made up most of that ground, including Q1 2014 movie tie in bestsellers of LONE SURVIVOR and MONUMENTS MEN. Ebook sales slowed from last year’s first quarter pace, while downloadable audio continued to grow. We are encouraged by strong performance of our publications at book retail chains and independent bookstores.”
At Hachette Livre: Hachette Livre delivered net sales of €393M, down 5.3% over first quarter 2013, with the decrease attributed to the “spectacular success of the Fifty Shades trilogy in France” in the first quarter last year, according to Lagardère’s press release (the trilogy sold 1.8 million copies in France). Sales in Q1 2014 were stable compared to Q1 2012. France saw solid growth (+10.9%) in their Partworks business, and in illustrated books. In the English-speaking countries (US, UK, Commonwealth) business was down slightly, due in part to “some postponements of releases.”
Ebook sales for the publishing division “outperformed a stabilizing market.” Ebooks now represent 13.4% for Hachette Livre, up from 12.4% in Q1 2013. In the US, ebooks represent 34% of net trade sales, consistent with the same period last year, while in the UK ebook sales make up 40% of net Adult trade sales, up from 31% in Q1 2013.
At Lagardère: the company reported net sales of €1.526 billion, down 5.6% over first quarter 2013.