Hachette Livre (a subsidiary of Lagardère Media) is a leading publisher in French, Spanish and English. The company published 16,452 titles in 2013 under 155 major French and international publishing houses. French publishers include Grasset, Fayard, Stock, Livre de Poche, Lattès, Calmann-Lévy, Larousse, Hatier, Dunod and many others. Outside of France, main assets include Hachette Book Group USA (Grand Central Publishing, Little, Brown and Company), Hachette UK (Hodder-Headline, Octopus, Orion, Cassel), Hachette España (Anaya, Salvat, Bruño), Aique in Argentina, Patria in Mexico, and more.

Hachette also partners with Phoenix Publishing & Media Group in China and holds a 25% share of Atticus in Russia.

As a publisher of high-quality works for the general public, Hachette focuses on general literature, textbooks and illustrated books. Hachette also publishes partworks and booklets to be sold at newsstands. Hachette Livre publishes nearly 15,000 titles annually.

The group belongs to Lagardère, a French-based, globally active media group with activities in 40 countries managed by Arnaud Lagardère, with a focus on books, e-books, magazines, audiovisual, retail and distribution services, and sports. It is also a key shareholder at EADS (Airbus, Eurocopter, et al.).

Analysis & Key Developments

Hachette Livre reported sales of 2.07 billion EUR in 2013 (down from 2.08 billion EUR in 2012, and profits of 223 million EUR equal as in 2012). These results were supported by the continued success of E.L. James and JK Rowling, as well as the growth of e-books in the UK.

Revenues grew by 6.6 % in the first quarter of 2013, driven by general fiction in France (up 8.9 %) and American film adaptations of Safe Haven, Beautiful Creatures, A Story of God and All of Us, which helped increase sales by 14.9 %.

The Hispanic division was flat in 2012 and 2013.

In 2013, sales in France account for 37% (36 % in 2012, 33% in 2011) of Hachette’s total revenues, US and Canada represent 23% (22 % in 2012, 23 % in 2011), UK and Australia 20% (2012: 21 %; 2011: 18 %), and Spain 8% (2012: 10 %; 2011: 9 %).

Fiction and nonfiction account for 41% of the group’s sales in 2013, up from 38 % in 2012. Education accounts for 16%, down from 19% in 2012, and distribution accounts for 12%.

In July 2013, Hachette purchased backlist and future titles from Disney’s Hyperion imprint, which will become a new division at Hachette.

In China, continues its joint venture with Phoenix (49% Hachette, since 2010), publishing 200 titles per year.

In Lebanon, Hachette operates a 50:50 joint venture with Librairie Antoine, releasing 200 titles per year. In Morocco, Librairie Nationale publishes some 50 textbooks annually.

Effective April 30, 2010, Lagardère publishing had divested its 51% stake in the Brazilian Escala Educacional with revenues of 5 million EUR in 2010 (and 26 million EUR in 2009). In March 2011, Lagardère Publishing signed a memorandum of understanding with a view to acquire a minority stake in the Russian publishing group Asbooka-Atticus.

More than 49,000 titles in Hachette’s catalog are digitized, including 6,000 from US imprints, 20,000 from UK and 23,000 from France. In collaboration with its international offices, Hachette launched a “Digital Asset Distribution” to centrally warehouse all its digital assets. E-books account for 10% of all of Hachette Livre’s sales. Hachette also created educational apps, as well as “Great Digital Space”, providing online access to various resources for its Anaya branch.

In 2012, 8% of revenues came from digital at Hachette Livres (2011: 6%). E-book sales accounted for 23% in the US and the UK, compared to 1.8% in France.

Following a pilot project, Hachette will make its entire e-book catalogue available for library lending in cooperation with OverDrive, 3M and Baker & Taylor. New titles will be included simultaneously print releases.

In spring 2013, Hachhette UK announced to refine their “agency model”, allowing retailers to discount, to comply with anti-trust procedures by the European Commission, after settling already with the US Department of Justice in 2012 for the US.

E-books gained greater significance and visibility in France in 2011, and Hachette’s own e-book distribution platform Numilog, launched in 2000, is the largest platform for e-books in France Hachette returned ownership of Numilog to its founder and director general, Denis Zwirn, yet maintains a “privileged partnership” with the platform.

In the last quarter of 2011, e-book sales accounted for 20% of all US revenues from publishing at Hachette, and for 25% in the first quarter 2012 in the UK. Overall e-books accounted for 6% of Lagardère’s Publishing’s total net sales.

In May 2012, Hachette harmonized retail prices for 2,000 e-book titles with the paperback editions.

Hachette holds a high profile in the fight against e-book piracy by working with Attributor.

In November 2010, Hachette announced a strategic partnership with Google Editions to digitize and develop commercial editions of 40,000 to 50,000 backlist titles.

Bestselling authors & titles
Sales have been led by E.L. James and J.K. Rowling since 2012.

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