November 10, 2016 Last Updated 3:28 pm

Lagardère Publishing sees total revenue climb in Q3, but eBook share falls

Revenue for the entire Lagardère group grew 7 percent in the quarter thanks to ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ – and the company reaffirmed its profit guidance

The Paris based Lagardère Publishing, which includes Hachette, had a good third quarter, thank in part to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Revenue was up 4.5 percent, 4.1 percent on a like-for-like basis. The entire Lagardère group, which includes the Travel Retail, Active and Sports groups, saw revenue up 7 percent in Q3.

hp-cursed-300The interesting part for TNM readers, though, is the continue decline in eBook sales. eBook sales now account for 6.8 percent of total business for the publishing group, down from 7.9 percent a year ago. They didn’t give any details on actual sales, other than the percentage eBooks now make up, but clearly they are falling – the result of smaller discounts now for eBooks.

This is pretty much in line with what we are seeing from most of the major publishers who have increased the price of eBooks. Buyers make a judgement concerning the price between print and digital and will gladly pay a few dollars more for print if the prices are fairly close. It is making it hard to really know what the state of eBook sales really is because the assumption is that Amazon published eBooks continues to climb, while those of major publishers are falling.

This situation, of market uncertainty, is well known in the magazine industry where the two major trade associations have been providing cover for publishers by either discontinuing their ad page count reports, or delaying them so long they become irrelevant.

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