Founded in 1992 by Hervé de la Martinière, this French publishing company initially focused on illustrated books in Photography, Heritage, Art, and Leisure. The group is now also active in general trade. Its largest domestic acquisition was Seuil, in 2004.
Its domestic brands include Editions de La Martinière, Delachaux et Niestlé, Hermé, Petit à Petit, Fetjaine, Seuil, Points, L’Olivier (90%), Le Sorbier, A.-M. Métailié (80%), Don Quichotte, and it has also minority stakes in Tallandier (34%), Zulma (6%), Arléa, and Esprit.
Increasingly, a good share of La Martinière’s revenues are contributed by its international holdings, namely Abrams, Golden Turtle and Steward, Tabori & Chang (all three USA), and Knesebeck (Germany).
In early 2010, La Martinière, together with Flammarion (a branch of Italian RCS) and Gallimard launched a distribution platform for digital books, branded Eden Livres.
Key company developments in 2011 & 1st half year 2012
As a privately owned company, La Martinière releases no other financial information than its annual revenues, which showed steady growth between 2007 and 2010, yet dropped by 9.2 % in 2011.
Ownership, mergers & acquisition, internal organization:
See below, at “International”
In 2011, La Martinière took over the entire stock of the German publisher Knesebeck, of which it had held a majority stake since 2000.
In August 2011, La Martinière signed an agreement with Google to digitize of its out of print catalogue, five years after suing Google for its library digitization efforts.
In July 2011, La Martinière was among the first French publishers to sign up for Apple’s iBookstore.
Bestselling authors & titles:
Key points for analysis & conclusions:
In early 2010, La Martinière moved its headquarters from the center of Paris to new quarters on the periphery of the French capital, and introduced significant cost reduction programs.
In 2009, La Martinière group, together with the French national publisher’s syndicate (SNE), sued Google for illegally digitizing and displaying titles. No final judgement has been issued at this point.
Note: Figures are based on sales generated in calendar 2011 or—for corporations with a fiscal year—from fiscal 2011. Data are from publicly available sources and include sales of books, journals, and digital products. Because publishing data were unavailable, Pannini and Disney/Hyperion are excluded from the rankings. The listing and publisher profiles were compiled by international publishing consultant Rudiger Wischenbart under the aegis of Livres Hebdo.