Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Trade Publishing Rebounds at Lagardere; Bertelsmann Gains on Subdued Outlook


After a weak second quarter, trade publishing sales rebounded as expected for Lagardere Publishing, with revenues of 626 million euros for third quarter. That's a 4.1 percent gain over sales of 601 million euros a year ago, when the company had a particular weak third quarter; sales are still below the same period from 2010, and only gained one-tenth of a percent after the effects of currency exchange.

Results were boosted by the release of JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy right before the end of the quarter, raising trade sales by 7.3 percent in the US, 17 percent in the UK, and 12.4 percent in France. But overall publishing division sales were still weighed down by declines in the French education and distribution businesses, and continued weakness in Spain.
eBook sales comprised a smaller portion of sales than in prior quarters, at 20 percent in the US and UK, and 6.4 percent of all sales (down from 27 percent and 23 percent in the second quarter). They say it's "due to timing differences between the recognition of physical book sales and digital sales, regarding mainly J.K. Rowling's book copies." (Meaning the big opening ebook sales for Rowling will not have been billed and collected for at least a month after publication.)

In a shorter and less detailed third quarter trading update, Bertelsmann reported sales of 3.848 billion euros (up 7.6 percent from a year ago) and operating EBIT from continuing operations of 364 million euros (up 2.5 percent).
CEO Thomas Rabe said in the release: "We are satisfied with our business performance during the first nine months of the year. Bertelsmann is growing organically, profitability remains high, and we are making good progress on reshaping the group. We continue to expect moderate revenue growth and a continued high Operating EBIT for the full year.... Also, the subdued economic outlook and the Euro crisis make it difficult to predict our future performance at this point."

Following Scholastic's million-book donation announcement Monday morning, Simon & Schuster ceo Carolyn Reidy informed her employees of S&S's relief efforts in a memo. They are offering "any public or school library damaged by Hurricane Sandy a donation of 500 'best of' titles in order to help in the restoration of their collections." So far they are working on concert with the Teachers College Reading, Writing Project's Literacy Lifeboats initiative, and the New Jersey Library Association to reach libraries in need. The company is working with other relief organizations to provide free books to both children and adults displaced by the storm.

Retail accounts that suffered damage can receive "multiple copies of 20 new releases and bestsellers to help them attract customers as they get their businesses back up and running," free of charge

No comments: