Michael Wolff’s White House exposé Fire and Fury (Little, Brown) helped Hachette UK report a “standout” first half of 2018 with sales “considerably ahead” year-on-year.
Among highlights Chief Executive David Shelley noted alongside Wolff’s book were the paperbacks of David Lagercrantz’s Millennium 5, JP Delaney’s The Girl Before, and Val McDermid’s Insidious Intent, as well as “strong performances” from Orion and John Murray Press.
A very good second quarter included “significant contributions” made in non-fiction by Factfulness, Stories for Boys who Dare to be Different and, in fiction by Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, Force of Nature by Jane Harper, Friend Request by Laura Marshall, He Said, She Said by Erin Kelly, and Together by Julie Cohen. Shelley said that Hachette had “significantly outperformed the market” in the UK, recording an increase in market share to 12.4% from 12.2% in same period in 2017.
He added: “I am also delighted to report that all four of the brilliant publishing companies we acquired in 2017 performed exceptionally in the first half of the year. Our e-books too are bucking the industry trend by being up on this same period in 2017 and audio downloads continue to outperform significantly against 2017.
“June is traditionally an important month for Hodder Education which, once again, recorded a very strong performance, boosted by orders from the Caribbean in particular.
“Looking ahead, I am hugely excited by our programme for the second half of 2019, which has been greeted with enormous enthusiasm by all our customers at home and in our export markets.”
First-half 2018 revenue at parent company Lagardère Publishing came in at €1,000 million, taking in all its territories, with this figure is up 0.5% on a like-for-like basis. In France, revenue growth of 2.5% was reported, while in the US, revenue was up 1.4% largely due to the success of the James Patterson and Bill Clinton’s novel The President is Missing, Spain and the Latin America region was down 5.1% and the contribution of e-books to Lagardère Publishing’s overall revenue fell to 8.4% in first-half of 2018, from 8.8% in first-half of 2017.