Hachette Livre is the world’s third-largest trade book publisher for the general public and educational markets (number one in France, number two in the United Kingdom, number three in Spain, number four in the United States).
Hachette Livre (or Lagardère Publishing) is a subsidiary of Lagardère Media, which is the holding company for Lagardère’s media operations.
In 2016 the group published 17,696 new titles in more than 150 imprints, including the trade publishing houses Grasset, Fayard, Stock, Calmann-Lévy and Lattès in France. In textbooks, Hachette Éducation and the Alexandre Hatier group make Hachette Livre the leading educational publisher in France. In the United Kingdom, Hachette UK was the second-largest publisher in 2016. It covers six divisions: Octopus for illustrated books; Orion; Hodder Stoughton; Headline; Little, Brown for general literature; and Hachette Children’s Books in the Youth Works segment. Hachette Livre Spain has been the third-largest publisher in Spain since Santillana’s acquisition by Penguin Random House and ranks as the leading publisher of textbooks through Anaya and Bruño. In the United States, Hachette Book Group is the fourth-largest trade book publisher thanks to such publishing houses as Grand Central Publishing; Little, Brown, as well as Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in the Youth Works segment; FaithWords in the Religious Literature segment; Orbit in Science-Fiction; Twelve for Quality Non-fiction; and Mulholland for Crime-Fiction.
Worldwide, Hachette Livre is present either directly or indirectly in more than 70 countries across all of its business lines.
Hachette also holds further stakes, partnerships or other activities in China (with Phoenix Publishing Media Group, PPMG), and Russia (a 49% share in Atticus).
In early 2016, Hachette acquired the publishing arm of Perseus through its US Hachette Book group.
Analysis Key Developments
Lagardère recorded revenue of 7.07 billion EUR in 2017, up 4% on a like-for-like basis, despite other factors reflecting a good momentum at Lagardère Publishing, which posted a growth of 9.1% and 1.9% respectively.
The contribution of Hachette Livre to the consolidated revenue in 2017 increased to 2.29 billion EUR (2.26 billion EUR in 2016). EBIT increased slightly from 208 million EUR in 2016 to 210 million EUR in 2017.
In France, the second and last year of middle-school curriculum reform was fully leveraged in terms of market share and profitability. In Textbooks, Hachette Livre could assert its position as leading publisher in France thanks to two separate entities, Hachette Éducation and the Alexandre Hatier group. Many major bestsellers boosted second half after slow first half.
In the United States, the Hachette Book Group (HBG) increased its revenue by 5%, mainly from bestselling titles, along with a boost from the U.S. market’s slightly higher print book sales and stable e-book sales.
In the United Kingdom, the print book market increased, albeit marginally (up 0.2%), for the third year in a row. Hachette UK (HUK) ended the year down 8%, considering the unfavorable comparison basis in the United Kingdom (successes of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts in 2016). Still, with 12.4% of a British publishing market, HUK consolidated its number two position, and believes itself (in the absence of official statistics) to be the biggest seller of e-books.
The market share of its subsidiary, Hodder Education, grew by a further 1.0 percentage point to 23.4%.
In Spain, the absence of curriculum reform, coupled with a political crisis in Catalonia, adversely impacted the education market. Hachette España limited the decline in its revenue to just 1.1%, thanks in large part to the strength of the Latin American markets.
Sales by publishing segment are as follows: education 16% (16.7% in 2016); illustrated books 12.7% (13.1% in 2016); general literature 43.6% (43.6% in 2016), partworks 12% (11.4% in 2016); other (including reference) 16.5% (15.2% in 2016).
In January 2018, David Shelley, who was appointed 2015 CEO of Little, Brown and Orion, succeeded Tim Hely Hutchinson as CEO of Hachette UK.
In October 2017, Stéphanie Ferran joined Hachette Livre as Senior Vice President, Sales Development.
Arnoud Robert was appointed Vice President, Group General Counsel, Legal and Public Affairs of Hachette Livre.
In February 2018, Hachette Livre launched Ritméo, a printing solution aimed at books selling between 100 and 1,000 copies per year, which manages reprinting of each title automatically to ensure that stocks are maintained at the optimum level taking into account the book’s type and sales history.
In November 2017, the Octopus Publishing Group announced the acquisition of Summersdale, a trade publisher specializing in gift and humor titles, and Hachette UK bought Jessica Kingsley Publishers (JKP), specializing in social and mental health sciences.
In October 2017, Hachette Livre acquired an interest in Educapital, the first European fund dedicated to supporting startups that develop innovative products in all segments of education and learning, including the primary, secondary and higher education sectors as well as in supplemental areas. Also in October, Octopus Publishing Group (Hachette UK) acquired Kyle Cathie Ltd., a publishing house specializing in cookbooks, health and gardening.
In March 2017, Hachette UK bought the independent e-book publisher Bookouture, to help it grow e-book sales across the group.
In January 2017, the British subsidiary of the Hachette group acquired Jessica Kingsley Publishers, which has made a name for itself in the fields of psychology and social sciences.
In May 2017 Hachette Livre announced that Tim Hely Hutchinson will retire as CEO of Hachette UK at the end of 2017. He will act as a consultant to the Group until the end of 2018. David Shelley, at present CEO of Little, Brown Book Group and Orion, will become CEO of HUK from 1st January 2018.
The respective share of Lagardère’s publishing markets slightly shifted in 2017, as the share of sales in France increased to 29.3% (28.1% in 2016) of all turnover, while revenues in the US remained almost stable at 24.6% (24.7% in 2016), and Spain at 6% (6.3% in 2016). The share of UK declined by 0.6% to 17.9%, other areas contributed 22.2% (22.4% in 2016) in sales.
During 2017, Hachette Livres revenue by country (by origin) represented 34% from France, 26% from the US, 21% from the UK, 7% from Spain and 12% from other areas. Hachette continues to foresee selective investments in high-growth markets such as Russia, India and China.
Most of Hachette’s new publications are available in digital format—in France and the United Kingdom, as well as in the United States—and sold as e-books on all platforms.
In 2017, the Hachette Book Group (HBG), US, noted that audiobooks to grow (gaining a further 30.2% after growth of 32% in 2016), while e-books declined further, bringing them 30% below their 2013 peak—a level that appears to reflect a sustainable market of regular users.
E-book sales declined in the US by 5%, bringing them down to a level well below the all-time high market share of 23.3% in 2013.
Hachette adapted to emerging consumer behaviors and new forms of reading by diversifying into mobile video games by acquiring three specialized start-ups in order to develop synergies between its content and the increasingly-popular format
Hachette Livre has acquired a majority interest in Brainbow, a UK based mobile app company known for Peak, a subscription-based, fun brain-training app.
In June 2017, Hachette acquired IsCool Entertainment, a video and mobile game development studio in France.
Hachette also acquired Neon Play, one of the UK’s leading mobile game development studios.
In 2017 Hachette’s imprints published several bestsellers and award winning titles in France including: Mécaniques du chaos by Daniel Rondeau, La Disparition de Josef Mengele by Olivier Guez, La nostalgie de l’honneur by Jean-René Van der Plaetsen, Mes pas vont ailleurs by Jean Luc Coatalem, Les huit montagnes by Paolo Cognetti. Lattès dominated the year-end bestseller lists with Origin by Dan Brown (540,000 copies). In addition, Fayard sold 150,000 copies of Le miracle Spinoza by Frédéric Lenoir, while Kero sold 220,000 copies of Et tu trouveras le trésor qui dort en toi by Laurent Gounelle. Illustrated Books turned in a remarkable performance thanks to the new Asterix album, Astérix et la Transitalique, which sold more than two million copies in France.
In the US, Hachette Book Group (HBG) placed 167 titles on the New York Times lists and 144 titles on the USA Today list, including: You are a Badass by Jen Sincero, Make your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Senator Al Franken and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Another strong seller was Obama, An Intimate Portrait by Pete Souza, the official White House photographer, which sold 320,000 copies.
In addition, Hachette UK placed 122 titles on the Sunday Times bestseller list, 24 of which made it to number one. HUK’s bestselling and award-winning titles included East West Street by Philippe Sands as well as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.