Activities in 2012
2012 OVERVIEW AND 2013 PRIORITIES
One of our challenges in 2012 was to continue to control e-book retail prices in the United States and the United Kingdom in order to protect our margins, despite pressure from online sales platforms. All international publishing groups adopted this policy, but then faced legal challenges from both the United States Justice Department and the European Commission, which interpreted it as price fixing.
2012 KEY EVENTS
Some big hits in France
For the third consecutive year since the end of the Twilight saga, the division's performance in France has been the strongest contributor to growth.
Two relative unknowns were remarkably successful with the book-buying public: Grégoire Delacourt, with La Liste de mes envies published by JC Lattès, and Barbara Constantine with Et puis, Paulette... published by Calmann-Lévy. It was not until the end of the year, however, that the most spectacular results were achieved, on the release of J.K. Rowling's Une place à prendre (The Casual Vacancy), published by Grasset, and E L James's Cinquante nuances de Grey (Fifty Shades of Grey), published by JC Lattès. Hachette Livre also received a number of literary awards.
Hachette Éducation and the publishing houses Didier and Hatier performed well despite the contraction of the textbooks segment. Travel guides and high-quality illustrated books were hit by the crisis, but Hachette Illustré posted good results. Larousse continued, successfully, to recast itself as a publisher of practical books and high-quality illustrated books without abandoning its leading position in reference works.
|Truly spectacular results have been achieved with The Casual Vacancy |
by J.K. Rowling at Grasset, and Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James at JC Lattès
Slowdown of the digital revolution in the United States
The e-book segment continued to grow in the United States, albeit at a gentler pace than in 2011.
Hachette Book Group (HBG) followed the same pattern as the trade book market, with e-books accounting for 23% of net sales at year-end.
The number of HBG's releases listed among the New York Times bestsellers rose by 17%, with 214 print books and 71 e-books, which is a record for this division. Thirty print books and six e-books rose to number one on this benchmark list, which featured HBG works for a total of 1,330 weeks.
The United Kingdom holds firmOf a total of 122 Hachette UK books to reach the authoritative Sunday Times bestseller list, 20 reached number one. Is It Just Me?, by Miranda Hart (Hodder & Stoughton), held on at number one for eight weeks, J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy (Little, Brown Book Group) for ten weeks, and A Street Cat Named Bob (Hodder & Stoughton) for thirteen weeks.
Publishing was not spared the effects of the severe economic crisis in Spain. Despite the austere conditions, the Anaya group’s positioning in the Education segment tempered the effects of the recession, since most regional authorities have maintained their textbook orders. With a relative decline in net sales of 12% in Spain, this division decisively outperformed the market.
Spain struggles against the recession
Partworks withstand the crisis
Generally considered to be more sensitive to purchasing power fluctuations than books, partworks enjoyed an excellent 2012 by posting positive net sales growth.
France, Italy and Russia all recorded very respectable results, but Japan and the United Kingdom saw the most spectacular performances, defying the pundits with the Crochet series in Japan, which sold over 3.5 million copies, and the Marvel series in the United Kingdom, which sold 2 million.
|2012 was an excellent year for Partworks|
The Famous Five in all its forms
In March 2012, Hachette UK acquired the global rights across all media - including cinema and television - to the 800 books written by Enid Blyton, the well-known writer of The Famous Five and The Secret Seven, among others.