Random House Reports Earnings, 200% E-book Sales Growth
Bertelsmann AG announced Random House's half-year earnings in a press release today, accompanied by a letter to RH worldwise staff from Bertelsmann chairman and CEO, Markus Dohle.
August 31, 2011
Dear Random House Colleagues,
Today Bertelsmann announced its half-year financial earnings, and once again Random House's strong results contributed significantly to our parent company’s top and bottom lines. Our ongoing positive fiscal performance continues to be bolstered by our bestseller successes, operational efficiency, and more than 200 percent growth in e-book sales. In fact, digital sales across our companies for the first half of 2011 have already exceeded their total for all of 2010.
The demand for Random House content around the world continues to be enormous. In the U.K., the Random House Group made British publishing history by being the first publisher ever to have concurrent number one bestsellers on all five of the main lists of /The Bookseller/. In Germany, Verlagsgruppe Random House recorded their most number one bestsellers for a first half-year. And in Spain, Random House Mondadori was able to outperform the difficult marketplace and gain significant market share.
Our overall performance was driven by the U.S., where the industry’s number one bestselling hardcovers in both nonfiction and fiction for the half-year were Laura Hillenbrand’s UNBROKEN and Stieg Larsson’s THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST, respectively. These two enduring 2010 blockbusters were joined on the 2011 international bestseller lists by breakout hits from such authors as Isabel Allende, Jean Auel, Pierre Dukan, Janet Evanovich, Lauren Kate, Charlotte Link, Erik Larson, Kate McCann, Paula McLain, and John Stephens.
George R. R. Martin's A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, which we published last month in North America, has been the number one fiction hardcover of the summer. It's the fifth volume in his epic A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series, a true publishing phenomenon. So far, we have gone back to press for more than four million physical backlist copies–a figure which reminds us that the print side of our business is an indispensable contributor to our greater publishing success.