Planeta leads the world's Spanish-language publishing markets in Spain and Latin America. The company has further strongholds in Portugal and France, where it owns Editis, the country’s second-largest group. Planeta is continuing to expand, with an emphasis on reading groups, international partnerships, and digital, with the creation of e-book distribution platform Libranda.
Grupo Planeta is present in 25 countries, with more than 100 imprints and a catalogue of 15,000 titles.
After successfully consolidating its acquisition of the second largest publishing group of France, Editis, in 2009, Planeta acquired in spring 2010 from Bertelsmann’s Direct group a 50 percent stake in Spain’s largest reading community, “Circulo de lectores”, the world’s second largest reading club after “France loisir” in France (according to Livres hebdo). “Circulo de lectores” has a million subscribers and revenues of ca. 120 m Euros.
In 2010, Planeta was a founder, together with Santillana, Random House Mondadori and several smaller publishers, of the e-book distribution platform Libranda.
Aside from book publishing, the group has shares in the newspaper La Razón and in Grupo Antena 3, which includes the television channels Antena 3, Neox, Nova and Nitro, and the radio stations Onda Cero, Europa FM and Onda Melodía.Through Prisma Publicaciones, Grupo Planeta also manages a number of prominent special-interest magazines, including Interiores, Psychologies, Historia y Vida and Lonely Planet.
Fundación José Manuel Lara, the ownership's family foundation, is a main sponsor of cultural events and literary awards, notably El Premio Planeta.
Key Company Developments in 2011 & 2012
In an overall critical economic climate, and a significantly shrinking book market in Spain, Planeta saw its revenues decrease in 2012 to 1.68 billion EUR (from 1.77 billion EUR in 2011, and an alltime high of 1.83 billion in 2010).
Planeta disclosed for the first time revenue figures based on 2009 data for the purpose of this ranking.
Ownership, Mergers & Acquisition, Internal Organization:
Planeta acquired 50% of the independent Spanish publisher Tusquet in May 2012 (after holding a share of 40% since 1995, which was bought back by Tusquet in 1998).
Casa del Libro, which currently includes 37 outlets, acquired the Bertrand book chain in Spain.
Planeta claims to be the global leader in direct sales of its Grandes obras (grand works) of cultural, educational and entertainment, with a large sales force of over 1,000 in Spain and across Latin America, distributing books as well as multimedia content.
Planeta merged audiovisual media division Antena 3 (Spain’s second largest) and La sexta (Spain’s fourth largest TV channel), rebranded Atresmedia, and sold Grupo Planeta’s stake in Grupo El Tiempo in Colombia.
The Argentinian policy of tight control on imports of all kinds, including books, has led to a confrontation with Planeta.
In 2012 Planeta launched Booquo, a dedicated platform for eBooks that comprises a reader community of 4 million registered members. The service offers books and online movie streaming. Registered Premium members gain direct access to a vast e-book library for a monthly subscription fee of 9.90 EUR, with a discounted price of 7.90 EUR for Circulo de Lectores book club members.
La Casa del Libro started its own publishing imprint for e-books, Ediciones Tagus, in 2012.
In fall 2011, agreed with Apple to distribute its e-book titles through iBooks.
Planeta de Libros was created as an online forum and platform for authors and readers.
In May 2010, Planeta announced Libranda, a B2B e-book distribution platform created in partnership with the second and third largest publishing groups in Spain, Random House Mondadori and Santillana. Libranda serves many of Spain’s leading retail chains, including El Corte Inglés, Fnac, Casa del Libro, and Abacus, as well as partners in Europe, Latin America and the U.S. Libranda currently serves seven publishing houses, including Grupo Planeta, Grupo Random House Mondadori, Grupo Santillana, Roca Editorial, Grup62, Grupo SM, and Grupo Wolters Kluwer. By June 2011, Libranda a catalogue of 4,147 e-book titles.
Bestselling Authors & Titles:
José Manuel Caballero Bonald wond the prestigious Premio Cervantes in 2012 and released Oficio de lector at Seix Barral in January 2013.
Bestsellind authors include Dan Brown (Inferno), Paulo Coelho (El manuscrito encontrado en Accra), Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Marc Levy, Javier Sierra, and Lars Kepler.
Key Points for Analysis & Conclusions:
Effective June 2008, Grupo Planeta acquired the secong largest French publishing group Editis from the Belgium Wendel investment group for 1.02 million EUR. By this move, Planeta has become one of the leading global trade publishers; though rooted in Spain, they now have vested interests in both Europe and the Americas.
The transformation triggered a considerable management shake-up, as Planeta’s president José Manuel Lara took over also as Editis’ new president by March 2009, with Alain Kouck, who ran Editis until the takeover, as its new vice president. In a statement, Lara argued that the re-arrangement was meant to give the administrative board “greater subtlety in its decision making”.
Grupo Planeta offers a wide variety of services for the culture, training, information and entertainment sectors. Backed by Planeta publishers, direct sales and over fifty years of experience, Planeta's content was the first to appear in multimedia format and is now online and in digital and interactive TV.
Planeta’s imprints include Editorial Planeta, Grandes Publicaciones, Ediciones Destino, Editorial Seix Barral, Ediciones Temas de Hoy, Ediciones Minotauro, Infantil y Juvenil, Booket, Editorial Ariel, Ediciones GeoPlaneta, Planeta Publishing Corp (in English), with operations in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Mexico.
Aside from publishing, Planeta’s activities include collectibles, professional education, direct sales, distance learning, audiovisual and communication.
Editis, one of the largest educational and consumer publishing groups in France, traces its roots back to 1835, when it was founded by Charles-Louis Havas as a news agency. Its imprints include: Literature: Editions First; La Découverte; Le cherche midi éditeur; Editions XO; (Oh ! Editions); Place des éditeurs (Presses de la Cité, Belfond, Omnibus, Hors Collection, Le Pré aux Clercs, Solar, Acropole, Lonely Planet); Plon; Robert Laffont; Seghers; and Univers Poche (Pocket, Pocket Jeunesse, Kurokawa, Langues Pour Tous, 10/18, Fleuve Noir). Editis also owns education publishers Nathan and Bordas, and reference publisher Le Robert.
Both Planeta and Editis have strong distribution in their respective markets.