Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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PRH revenue up 4.6%, earnings up 23.3% in 2020

Penguin Random House’s (PRH) global sales in 2020 were up 4.6% and its operating EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) was up 23.3%, according to PRH parent company Bertelsmann’s 2020 annual report.

Revenue reached €3.8 billion (A$5.9b) in the 2020 financial year, and operating EBITDA totalled €691 million (A$1.1b).

Bertelsmann said PRH ‘benefited from strong new publications and increased demand for books in all formats in the year of the coronavirus pandemic’ and, ‘despite bookstores being intermittently closed in many countries’, it ‘grew its revenues and operating profit significantly, especially in the US and UK markets’. PRH also expanded its online sales in numerous markets, while audiobooks achieved double-digit percentage growth in most markets.

The publisher’s top-selling book was Barack Obama’s A Promised Land, which sold 7.3 million copies worldwide. In the US, other bestsellers included Untamed (Glennon Doyle), Becoming (Michelle Obama), Where the Crawdads Sing (Delia Owens) and How to Be an Antiracist (Ibram X Kendi). In the UK, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse (Charlie Mackesy) and The Thursday Murder Club (Richard Osman) each sold more than one million copies.

Bertelsmann, which comprises PRH, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr and the Bertelsmann Education Group, among other divisions, reported a 30% rise in group profit in 2020 to €1.5 billion (A$2.3b).


Category: International news