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2020 challenges

ARNAUD NOURRY   ARNAUD NOURRY
Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer of Hachette Livre
 

WHAT WERE THE KEY HIGHLIGHTS FOR LAGARDÈRE PUBLISHING IN 2019?

2019 was a good year for Lagardère Publishing, characterised by solid performances right across the world. Large-scale high school curriculum reform, a new Asterix album, successful youth licences, an impressive programme in practical titles and a firm performance in literature crowned by numerous awards, combined to drive our growth in France. Internationally, the United States enjoyed traction from successful releases in adult literature, youth and science fiction. Meanwhile, acquisitions continued in the United Kingdom and the growth of the audio format was confirmed in all markets, as was the success of Partworks. Lastly, we launched a new activity in the field of Board Games, extending the diversification dating back to the arrival of Mobile Games in 2016, without losing touch with our know-how or our business model.

WHAT ARE YOUR CHALLENGES AND PRIORITIES FOR 2020?

In the context of the coronavirus epidemic, we are adopting a cautious approach to 2020. The crisis triggered by the epidemic is unprecedented, and has caused everyone to redefine their priorities, lifestyle and consumption habits. As a business, our first concern is to protect our employees and to take the necessary measures to address the developments in the situation. Owing to the uncertainties inherent to a crisis of this magnitude, it is still too early to foresee the impact of this situation on the markets for our businesses in 2020. Otherwise, comparing it with 2019, the year will be a little slower without a new Asterix album and with a less abundant Partworks programme, not to mention a smaller boost from curriculum reform in France. However, we will be able to count on the acquisitions made in 2019, our teams' ability to innovate and the growth of the audio book segment to make the year a success. In light of the exceptional circumstances caused by Covid-19, we will continue to rigorously manage our business and our investments in modernising Lagardère Publishing's assets.

We will also continue to monitor our environmental footprint and place people at the heart of our strategy. Signatory of the French government's Manifesto for the inclusion of people with disabilities in economic life, and a committed force for several years in initiatives designed to make our books accessible to all, we believe more firmly than ever that diversity is a source of richness and that it should be encouraged. To conclude, we will pursue our external growth strategy guided by the same rigorous management practices, remaining on the lookout for any acquisition opportunities that would allow us to expand further in our diversification segments as well as in our traditional stamping ground of publishing.

The group's key figures

2018: solid growth illustrated by a strong operating and financial performance.

The Group's brands

All companies and brand