Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Sales down, profits up at HarperCollins UK

In the UK, HarperCollins has recorded a drop in sales from £186m (A$307m) to £184m (A$303m) in the 2015-16 financial year, but an increase in operating profits from £13m (A$21m) to £15m (A$25m) over the same period, reports the Bookseller.

According to Nielsen, the publisher’s biggest sellers over the past financial year were David Walliams’ Grandpa’s Great Escape and The World’s Worst Children, Judith Kerr’s Mog’s Christmas Calamity, S K Tremayne’s The Ice Twins and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See.

CEO Charlie Redmayne told the Bookseller that the publisher has ‘tried to focus on profitability, but as we go forward I also want to grow the top-line, and that is a frustration’. ‘Big, breakout successes such as The Girl on the Train don’t come around that often, and we haven’t had anything of that standing.’

Redmayne said HarperCollins had grown its ebook, audiobook and education businesses. It also launched Harlequin’s new imprint HQ, and is expecting ‘significant growth this year’, and integrated Harlequin’s Mills & Boon business and stopped the decline in its direct-to-consumer sales ‘with a combination of new marketing and better content’.

Redmayne noted that he wanted to see improvement in commercial nonfiction titles such as the ‘Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups’ and ‘Famous Five’ spin-offs. ‘That’s an area I want to see us develop. I’ve tasked all the publishing divisions to go at this, and you will see more of that from us this year,’ he said.


Category: International news