About a week and a half ago S&S, PRH, and Hachette released their bad news about ebook sales (variously obfuscated). Now HarperCollins is joining the fun.
News Corp released its FY2016 report today. You can read the press release over on Talking New Media, but the more interesting details like how today’s results compared with the previous year’s data were quietly left out of the release.
Luckily for you I spent some time digging and can report that HC’s ebook sales dropped last fiscal year – likely as a result of the return to agency ebook price controls in April 2015.
So here’s what HarperCollins announced officially:
Revenues in the quarter increased $43 million, or 11%, compared to the prior year… . Digital sales represented 19% of Consumer revenues for the quarter. Adjusted Revenues increased 9% compared to the prior year. Segment EBITDA increased $17 million, or 52%, from the prior year due to higher revenues as noted above.
Full Year Segment Results
Full year revenues decreased $21 million, or 1%, compared to the prior year, driven by … lower e-book sales and negative foreign currency fluctuations, partially offset by the release of Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, the inclusion of the results of Harlequin, which was acquired in August 2014, continued expansion of HarperCollins’ global footprint and the $19 million impact from the additional week. Digital sales represented 19% of Consumer revenues for fiscal 2016. Full year Segment EBITDA decreased $36 million, or 16%, from the prior year primarily due to the factors noted above, partially offset by cost savings initiatives. Adjusted Revenues and Adjusted Segment EBITDA declined 2% and 19%, respectively, compared to the prior year.
According to a different part of the press release, annual revenues for the book publishing division was about $1.646 billion, so that 1% decline is negligible.
The decline in ebook revenues, however, was not.
According to the press release for the FY2015 report, digital sales in News Corp’s book publishing division made up 22% of the $1.667 billion in revenues for the year and 23% of the $360 million in revenue for the 4th quarter.
And so HarperCollins’ ebook revenues have dropped significantly last fiscal year.
image by Kevin Doncaster