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Hachette first-half sales up in the UK, US

Hachette’s UK sales were up 1.5% in the first half of 2022, reports the Bookseller.

According to Hachette parent company Lagardère, the UK’s performance was driven by children’s and YA titles. Hachette UK CEO David Shelley said the UK print market share grew year-on-year from 12.8% to 12.9%. ‘We saw exceptional sales of Alice Oseman’s “Heartstopper” series, which sold over two million copies in the first half of the year,’ said Shelley, adding the publisher had 14 number-one titles in the Sunday Times bestseller list in the first half of this year, compared to eight in the same period of 2021.

Key titles included Sparring Partners (John Grisham, Hodder & Stoughton), The Dark Hours (Michael Connelly, Orion), Rabbit Hole (Mark Billingham, Little, Brown), The Locked Room (Elly Griffiths, Quercus), Elektra (Jennifer Saint, Wildfire) and Bad Actors (Mick Herron, Baskerville).

‘TikTok helped drive sales of many titles, notably Verity by Colleen Hoover and The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazlewood (both Sphere),’ said Shelley. ‘At Hodder Education, sales compared favourably to the first half of 2021 and new acquisitions John Catt and Illuminate also performed well.’

In the US, Hachette Book Group (HBG) sales were up ‘slightly’ compared to 2021, due to the September 2021 acquisition of Workman Publishing, reports Publishers Weekly. Excluding Workman revenue, sales would have fallen 1.9% over the period.

HBG CEO Michael Pietsch said sales of trade paperbacks and digital audio rose in the period, backlist sales remained solid, and sales to independent bookstores were strong. In addition, sales in Canada were good, and HBG’s distribution business posted a sales gain. Profits, however, were below ‘2021’s extraordinary results due to sharply rising costs in paper, manufacturing, and shipping’.

HBG’s key titles included Dolly Parton and James Patterson’s Run, Rose, Run and Colleen Hoover’s suspense novel Verity, as well as titles by David Baldacci, Harlan Coben, Elin Hilderbrand and Nicholas Sparks.

Sales for Lagardère’s publishing arm were up 7.7% on the same period in 2021 but down 1% like-for-like, due to the acquisition of Workman alongside stationery and notebook company Paperblanks.

At Lagardère as a whole, the subject of a takeover bid by Vivendi, group revenue was up 38.6% on a like-for-like basis, thanks to a rebound at Lagardère Travel Retail. The group recorded a €45 million (A$65.6m) loss in the first half—an improvement on a €153 million (A$223m) loss in the same period last year.


Category: International news