At Penguin Random House on its own, sales were €3,059 million, down €335 million, or 9.9 percent, from a year ago. "Profit" at the joint venture was €372 million up from €342 million a year ago, as integration expenses, reported as "special items" fell to €38 million, from €66 million a year ago.
Bertelsmann says that the division "was impacted by the expected decline in e-book sales in the United States and the United Kingdom due mostly to new retail sales terms." Elsewhere, the German- and Spanish-language book markets showed largely stable development." They grew market share in Spain and "in Latin America, the business outperformed the market in a challenging macro-economic environment."
Breaking down the revenue decline at PRH+, the company cited "some adverse exchange rate and portfolio effects" as key factors. Foreign exchange, primarily the weakening British pound, account for a -2.8 percent decline in revenues. (More importantly, however, the US dollar remained strong against the euro. This is what lifted PRH+'s topline sales so significantly in 2015, and remained a factor in 2016.) "Portfolio and other effects," which reflects the sale of units such as Author Solutions and Bookworld (and the sale of Fodor's and Random House Studios during 2016) comprised another 2.9 percent of the revenue decline -- which equates to about 108 million euros. Organic growth was also negative, declining 3.9 percent.
For the rest of our comprehensive report on Penguin Random House's performance, including extensive details from the annual report, long-term comparison breakouts, and remarks from the investor call and Markus Dohle, see the full members-only article at PublishersMarketplace.com.
At Chronicle Books, Ariel Richardson has been promoted to editor, children's. Lizzie Vaughn has joined as designer.
Zak Nelson has joined Seattle-area Third Place Books and takes over as manager of events and marketing at the beginning of May. Most recently, he was a book reviewer for Shelf Awareness and a bookseller at Amazon Books. As planned, Wendy Ceballos will leave the group in May and relocate to New York.
Intercontinental Literary Agency and Lucas Alexander Whitley will represent Pocket Jeunesse for translation rights in their young adult and middle grade novels.
The PEN America Literary Awards were presented on Monday evening. Hisham Matar won the inaugural PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, a $75,000 prize, for his memoir The Return (Random House); Poet Adonis won the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature; Rion Amilcar Scott won the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, for his collection Insurrections (University Press of Kentucky); and Angela Morales won the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay for her collection The Girls in My Town (University of New Mexico Press).
In the UK, the £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction named its shortlist:
Jo Baker, A Country Road, A Tree (Doubleday)
Sebastian Barry, Days Without End (Faber)
Charlotte Hobson, The Vanishing Futurist (Faber)
Hannah Kent The Good People (Picador Australia)
Francis Spufford Golden Hill (Faber)
Graham Swift Mothering Sunday (Scribner)
Rose Tremain The Gustav Sonata (Chatto & Windus)