Following a first quarter report of a 12.3% decline in revenue, Hachette Book Group announced on Thursday that its revenues in the first half of 2015 were down by 7.8%.
Hachette’s parent company Lagardèreits first-half of the year results last week. Company revenues were down 1.8%, to 3.3 billion euros.
Sales at Lagardère Publishing were up 7.1%.,to 968 million euros, in the first half of 2015. The second quarter results mirrored the results for the half-year (up for 7.1% for the publishing division, but down %5.8 for Lagardère as a whole).
US revenues for Lagardère Publishing in the first half of 2015 were down 7.8%. French revenues were up 3%, and Hachette UK attributed its 3.5% decline to a weak slate of new releases.
Here in the US Hachette Book Group CEO Michael Pietsch blamed declining revenues on a “tough comparisons to a strong 2014 first half, when The Goldfinch, Grain Brain, and I am Malala were steady bestsellers”. The press release also mentions a decline in ebook sales.
Much to no one’s surprise, Hachette’s return to agency pricing in late 2014 resulted in a decline in ebook sales. eBooks made up 24% of adult trade sales here in the US (compared to 29% a year ago and 34% in the first half of 2013).
In the UK, ebooks made up 33% of trade sales, down from 36% in the first half of 2014. The decline was attributed to the change in VAT at the beginning of the year. There’s no mention of French ebook sales, but with ebooks making up such a small part of that market the lack of a mention is unremarkable.
Across the company, ebooks made up 10.7% of revenue, down from 11.3%in the first half of 2014.
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