MAIN NEWS HEADLINES
February 19 – February 26, 2009 Edition
In Tough Economy
Parish, France/Authorlink News/02/17/09–Hachette Book Group, USA, owned by Lagardére SCA under the Hachette Livre publishing division, turned in slight gains in year-end performance, Lagardére reported February 12. Despite an overall company drop in sales, Lagardére Publishing division showed a slight growth in USA sales, unlike most American publishing units. The better-than-expected performance was attributed to the success of books by Stephenie Meyer and the release of her tie-in movie, Twilight , released in November 2008.
Gross sales turnover for Lagardére Publishing (which includes Hachette), rose 1.4% to 2.16 billion Euros (US $2.77 billion). Comparable sales (excluding the negative exchange rate) for the year-ending December 2008, were up 4.7%.
In recent years, Stephenie Meyers Breaking Dawn and re-edition of New Moon, plus Twilight and Eclipse, sold over 28 million copies in 2008, including 8 million in the month of December. Meyer is a publishing phenomenon that is becoming global, the publisher said. The success of William P. Youngs The Shack has also had a positive impact on the companys sales.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom, reported lower sales in the fourth quarter. The success of Stephenie Meyer in the UK has been only partly offset by the departure of James Patterson to another house.
Lagardére said the trend in sales during 2008 allows the group to reconfirm its 2009 target growth of 3-7% on the based on the current Euro/Dollar exchange rate, but cautioned that the number is likely to be a the lower end of anticipated growth due to the difficult economic environment.