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After an impressive performance in 2022, Lagardère Publishing’s business remained at an all-time high despite a predominantly downbeat economic environment.


After recording a limited 2.9% decline in 2022(1), the French market rallied in 2023, edging up 1.5%.

General Literature had a very good year, buoyed by a string of bestsellers including Prince Harry’s Le Suppléant, Florent Pagny’s Pagny par Florent and Nicolas Sarkozy’s Le Temps des combats
(Fayard), Cédric Sapin-Defour’s Son odeur après la pluie and Panayotis Pascot’s La prochaine fois que tu mordras la poussière (Stock), as well as Pierre Lemaitre’s Le Silence et la Colère (Calmann-Lévy) and Sorj Chalandon’s L’Enragé (Grasset).

Le Livre de Poche and Audiolib achieved record sales thanks to an increase in downloads, while educational publishers suffered from the lack of curriculum reform. Larousse also reported lower sales, with a decline in the Practical guides segment and in dictionaries.

Trading was up sharply for Illustrated Books, buoyed by the publication of the 40th volume of Asterix adventures (L’Iris blanc) and the album based on the film, L’Empire du Milieu. This segment was also boosted by a number of successful Young Adult Dark Romance releases (including Sarah Rivens’ Captive trilogy and Camille Creati’s Fallen Angel for Hachette Romans), robust sales of titles by Ali Hazelwood (Bragelonne) and upbeat trading for Tour and Practical guides.

English-speaking countries

Amid a 1.2% rise in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Trade market(1), Hachette UK had a record year, with revenue up 6.1%, spurred by a string of best-selling titles (Rebecca Yarros’ Fourth Wing and Iron Flame, Colleen Hoover’s Too Late and Freida McFadden’s The Housemaid and The Housemaid’s Secret). In contrast, the lack of an equivalent success to the Heartstopper saga which had boosted 2022 sales held back the Children and Young Adult segment. The Education segment was up slightly thanks to dynamic export sales, while the digital business grew strongly in audiobooks and e-books (up 16% and 11%, respectively).

In the United States, revenue for Hachette Book Group fell by 6.8% in a declining market, with most divisions hindered by the sluggish market and by strong comparative figures in 2022, which had seen stellar sales of Colleen Hoover’s Verity and of Run, Rose, Run, a novel co-written by Dolly Parton and James Patterson. Digital audiobooks continued to grow (up 6%), while e-book sales lost ground (down 5%) in a contracting market.

Spain and latin america

In Spanish-speaking markets, revenue grew sharply by 17.9%. Spain reaped the full benefits of the curriculum reform cycle begun in 2022 as well as dynamic Trade business fuelled by the new Asterix album (Bruño) and the recently created publishing houses (Contraluz in commercial fiction and Faeris in romantasy). In Mexico, growth was driven by an excellent year for General Literature on the back of titles by Ali Hazelwood, and by a sharp rise in dictionary sales.

Partworks and board games

Sales of Partworks were down, reflecting less successful launches in the first half.

The Board Games segment posted stellar growth, driven by the expansion of the Hachette Boardgames catalogue, the publication and distribution of many bestselling games, and continued growth in the international dimension of the business in the United States and United Kingdom. 2023 also saw the acquisition of French board game publisher Catch Up Games.


(1) Source: Gfk (by value).
(2) Source: Nielsen BookScan (by value).