The list was started in 2007 as an initiative of French trade journal Livres Hebdo and is co-published by The Bookseller, buchreport, Publishers Weekly and PublishNews Brazil. It is researched by Rüdiger Wischenbart Content & Consulting.
The top six places in 2013 remain the same as the previous year with Penguin Random House (PRH) nestled in fifth place (just as Random House was in 2012), almost €1bn behind fourth-placed Wolters Kluwer—even though these figures represent six months of Penguin revenues added to Random House. PRH should close the gap next year.
The rankings of the top four publishers—the education/STM giants Pearson, Reed Elsevier, ThomsonReuters and Wolters Kluwer—have remained unchanged for the past four years. Yet the PRH merger did alter some of the top-line numbers. Pearson remains the world’s biggest publisher by a considerable margin, but its revenues dipped €1.26bn in 2013 largely (but not solely) due to shedding 53% of its stake in Penguin. The merger enabled PRH to add €513m to its 2013 figures, and to put some distance between it and sixth-placed Hachette Livre.