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PRH half-year revenues down due to falling ebook sales

Penguin Random House’s (PRH) global revenues fell more than 10% in the first half of 2016 due to a drop in ebook sales, reports the Bookseller. Bertelsmann, which owns 53% of Penguin Random House, revealed that PRH’s revenues were down 10.7% year-on-year in the first half of 2016 to €1.5bn (A$2.2bn). The company said in a statement that there was an ‘expected decline in e-book sales in the United States and UK due in part to new retail sales terms’, but added that this was partly offset by ‘steady’ physical book sales and a growth in audiobooks. In a letter to staff, PRH global CEO Markus Dohle said that ‘overall digital sales—which now include a significant upswing in audiobook downloads—are on a positive path forward’. ‘What’s also gratifying is the strength and stability of our physical book sales,’ said Dohle. ‘We said that print would always be important, even as digital became more so. We made significant improvements in both, and the care we’ve taken with our physical supply chains, operations, and distribution centers is especially paying off now as consumer demand for physical remains robust.’ Dohle said there was an ‘absence of newly-published megasellers’ for PRH in the first half of 2016, compared with the same period in 2015, when Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train and E L James’ Grey were selling strongly. ‘Happily, however, our 2016 results so far have benefited from the continuing large multiterritorial sales of Paula Hawkins’s novel and Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, as well as from the Jojo Moyes and Dr. Seuss backlists.’


Category: International news