Sales at Lagardere Publishing rose 4% in the third quarter ended September 30, to 626 million euros due in part to favorable currency fluctuations and a strong performance in the literature category led by the release of J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. The release of Vacancy led to a 7.3% increase in general literature sales in the U.S. (Hachette Book Group), 17% in the U.K. and 12.4% in France. E-book sales accounted for 20% of adult trade sales in both the U.S. and U.K. and 6.4% of all Lagardere revenue in the quarter.
For the nine months of 2012, publishing revenue was up 2%, to 1.5 billion euros.
In its earnings update, Lagardere repeated what it reported in September that it had agreed to an “amicable settlement” in the lawsuit brought by the European Commission about the pricing of e-books. According to Lagardere, the agreement is similar to the one reached with the Department of Justice in which the company “has committed to renegotiating its agency contracts with distributors to allow them more flexibility in setting sales prices for a two-year period.”