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First Half Sales Slow for Random House

The Bookseller’s Philip Jones reports that Random House registered a slight year-on-year decline in its first-half revenues and earnings, according to parent Bertelsmann. The group blamed the decline on the “cost of investing in future growth”, and came despite a strong performance in the UK bestseller charts.Sales reached 832m euros in the six months to end-June 2007, down from 859m euros a year earlier. Operating earnings before interest (EBIT) were 44m euros, against 48m euros in 2006.

Bertelsmann said: “In a global book market with a slow-growth trajectory. The decline is due to the cost of investing in future growth, especially for new publishing businesses in the UK, as well as the unfavorable US exchange rates.” It added: “Random House outperformed the market in Germany and the UK. Random House UK Group titles accounted for 30% of the Sunday Times bestseller lists. In the US, Random House placed more than 100 titles on the New York Times bestseller lists.”

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