Random House Revenue Drops for First Half of 2009

By Jason Boog Comment

rh23.jpgIn a new earnings report, Random House reported that worldwide revenues were down by 32 million euros for the first half of 2009 compared to the same period last year. Overall, the publisher’s corporate parent, Bertelsmann, posted some tough numbers as well, reporting a 333 million euro net loss for the first half of 2009.

The conglomerate publisher counted 140 titles on the New York Times bestseller lists during the first half of 2009, but the release said the U.S. arm of the company suffered from “continued distressed economic environment and the reduction in inventory levels by major bookstores.” Nevertheless, the company expressed faith that the massive restructuring last year will “offset” these loses.

Here’s more from Random House CEO Markus Dohle’s open letter to worldwide staff: “Our customers implemented tighter inventory controls, resulting in significantly higher returns and fewer copies ordered, on both initials and reorders, which hurt frontlist as well as backlist sales … But our fiscal year is not all gloom and doom. Our six-month results only partially reflect the current big turn in the right direction for our business–our strong sales performance overall during June, July, and August in our territories. Our monthly numbers are rising, thanks to some of our biggest-selling titles of 2009.”