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Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hachette Livre

What were the key highlights of 2023?

“We delivered a remarkable performance in 2023 amid an unstable economic environment, thanks to the resilience of our business model based on a balanced geographical footprint and diversified business activities.

The agility and responsiveness of all our teams once again enabled us to successfully weather the challenges of inflationary pressures on costs and a less buoyant global publishing market after two exceptional years.

Lagardère Publishing therefore reported further growth, led by the high quality of its publishing houses’ publications, numerous best-selling titles in all its markets and a sustained innovation drive
with the creation of new labels and new formats in a bid to reach new audiences.

We also made bolt-on acquisitions in France including Mama Éditions, a leading publisher in the esoteric market, and Catch Up Games, a board games publisher. We continued to expand the international dimension of our businesses beyond books with the launch of Partworks in the United States and the ramp-up of Hachette Boardgames in the United States, the United Kingdom
and Benelux.”

Which major CSR initiatives were rolled out in 2023?

“CSR is at the heart of our strategy to develop more ecological and inclusive development models.

Hachette Livre was awarded the Victoire d’Or Décideurs RH in the year in recognition of our CSR strategy. Through our eco-design programmes, this strategy involves our entire workforce in the effort to achieve the targets set out in our low-carbon and low-plastic programmes, making these environmental challenges a genuine company policy.

On the social front, all our subsidiaries continued their initiatives to promote diversity within the company. Hachette UK took the lead this year by featuring in The Times’ Top 50 Employers for Gender Equality.

In terms of our action for local communities, Hachette Livre formalised its collaboration with Bibliothèques Sans Frontières (Libraries Without Borders) by signing a three-year agreement, giving its partnership a long-term goal based on a number of commitments promoting access to culture and education.”

What is the outlook for 2024?

“We expect 2024 to be a less favourable year in terms of business, owing to the end of the national curriculum reform in Spain and the absence of a new Asterix album.

Amid persistent uncertainties in the wider economic environment, the division will continue to carefully manage its operations in order to preserve the operating performance of its businesses.

We will actively pursue a strategy of bolt-on acquisitions in our core book publishing business, as well as in growth markets into which we are diversifying, such as Board Games and Stationery.

Leveraging our unique positioning, and with the support of the Lagardère group and its shareholder Vivendi, we are confident going into 2024, strengthening our leadership and becoming the
most innovative and attractive international publishing group in the world by the time Hachette Livre celebrates its bicentenary.”

2023 overview and key dates