Penguin Random House worldwide achieved double-digit growth in the first quarter of 2021, according to results from parent company
Bertelsmann. The company noted that it had three authors on the “Time 100 Next” list published by Time magazine: the novelist Brit Bennett, the poet Amanda Gorman, who rose to instant worldwide fame at the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden, and the environmental activist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. It also said that its numerous bestsellers included the publication of Michelle Obama’s global bestseller Becoming in a new edition for young adults in all its markets, as well as the number-one-bestselling How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates.
Overall, Bertelsmann said that it had made a successful start to 2021, reporting quarterly revenues significantly above both its pre-Corona level in 2019 and the previous year 2020. Group revenues increased organically by around ten percent to €4.2 billion (prior-year quarter: €4.1 billion) and by seven percent compared to the pre-Corona year. At the same time, the operating margin also improved. The Group’s publishing division Penguin Random House, the music business BMG, and the services division Arvato delivered particularly strong performances, with double-digit organic growth rates. RTL Group recorded organic growth of close to four percent.
Bertelsmann Chairman & CEO Thomas Rabe said: “The first three months went very well for us fiscally. Bertelsmann increased its revenues significantly, and is now clearly above the level of the period before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost all divisions reported organic growth, in some cases, strong. At the same time, we made progress in implementing our corporate strategy. Further progress was made establishing national media champions, and our global content and services businesses are also well on track. We will achieve our targets for the full year.”