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PARIS/7/25/08–LagardÃ¨re SCA, which owns Hachette Book Group USA, has reported a 3.6% like-for-like increase in consolidated revenues for the six months ended June 30, 2008 to €3,804.4m, but a drop of 3.8% on a reported basis. The differential between the two bases was largely due to divestments (primarily Virgin Stores and the Regional Daily Press business: negative effect €191m) and to exchange rates (appreciation of the euro against other currencies, especially the dollar and sterling: negative effect €90m).
In the LagardÃ¨re Publishing division, which includes Hachette’s Grand Central Publishing and Little Brown in the USA, first-half revenues rose by 1.3% to €908m on a reported basis and 4.5% on a like-for-like basis (versus 2.4% growth in the first quarter of 2008). The USA group continued to grow at a rapid pace during the second quarter, driven in particular by the outstanding success of the latest Stephenie Meyer saga and by a raft of new bestsellers including novels by James Patterson (2 published in June).
In Spain, the impact of a good start for Education sales was amplified by a favorable comparative (the season started late in 2007).
The United Kingdom also recorded a highly satisfying quarter thanks to bestsellers and children’s books.
In France, Larousse and Hatier (in particular distance learning) recorded strong growth, but Literature saw a further decline.
Partworks were hit by a drop in sales in France and Italy, partly offset by good performances in United Kingdom and Japan.
The company expects growth of its Media activities for the full year to be in the "3% to 7%" range, based on a euro/dollar exchange rate of 1.50.
LagardÃ¨re is a pure media group (books, press, broadcast, digital, travel retail and press distribution, sports trading and sports rights), and is among the world leaders in the sector. The Group also has a 10% stake in EADS.
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