Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Revenue flat at PRH in 2017

Penguin Random House (PRH) parent company Bertelsmann has reported revenue at the publisher in 2017 was stable, down a marginal 0.1% to €3.36 billion (A$4.39 billion) compared to €3.4 billion (A$4.44 billion) in 2016, reports Publishers Weekly.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation), however, fell for the second year in a row, dropping three percent to €537 million (A$702 million), which Bertelsmann attributed to negative exchange rates. The company said acquisitions, such as its purchase of Spanish-language publisher Ediciones B in July 2017, offset the negative effect of currency changes to keep the top line stable.

Print book revenue ‘remained broadly stable overall’ at PRH, while e-book sales declined ‘moderately’ and digital audiobook sales experiences ‘strong growth’. Wonder (R J Palacio) was cited as a standout title, selling five million copies in print and ebook formats in English-speaking territories due to ‘additional impetus through a movie adaptation’. Dan Brown’s Origin was another top seller from the publisher’s frontlist.

In his letter to employees, PRH CEO Markus Dohle also pointed to the publisher’s ‘growing backlist sales’ and said another key to PRH’s overall strength is ‘the solidity and robustness of our global family of publishing companies’.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, Bertelsmann increased its share of PRH in 2017 to ‘a strategic three-quarters majority’ in October by acquiring another 22% from co-shareholder Pearson.


Category: International news