Bonnier Books reported a record year in 2021. Sales amounted to SEK 6.9 (6.1) billion, the increase being due to sharp growth in both the publishing division and the audio and e-book service BookBeat. This year’s strong results were mainly attributable to the publishing business as a whole, which achieved its most profitable year ever, in both absolute and relative terms, resulting in total EBITA for Bonnier Books of SEK 573 (392) million, despite significant continued investments in BookBeat and losses from bookstores.

In 2021, all the publishing operations gained market shares in their respective markets and substantially increased their profitability levels, as we are also seeing in 2022. As in recent years, sales of digital formats continued to grow, but the year was above all marked by a strong rise in sales of physical books, a trend driven by the children’s literature segment. The success of children’s books was most apparent in Germany and was one of the main reasons for the German publishing group’s record-breaking results this year, as it achieved its highest ever sales and profits for the second year in a row. The UK business also reported a strong sales and profit performance in a market where more books were being sold and at a higher price than for the past ten years. The business was further strengthened during the year by the acquisition of the Scottish publisher Black & White Publishing. In Finland, Werner Söderström continued its successful development, as it too achieved record results, thanks largely to increased digital revenues. The Swedish entity Bonnierförlagen also performed better than last year in terms of sales and profits, topping the bestseller lists in every genre in 2021. The Danish publishers continued to grow according to plan, signing up several major authors over the year with an eye to the future.

BookBeat continued to grow strongly and had sales of SEK 690 (508) million. The number of users of the service rose by 38 percent and last year it was expanded to Norway, Switzerland, and Austria.

The figures for physical retail, represented by Akateeminen Kirjakauppa in Finland and Pocket Shop in Sweden, were impressive, as results improved considerably on the previous year despite restrictions that reduced footfall in stores.

In Norway, the 50 percent-owned publishing house Cappelen Damm was sold during the year and Strawberry Publishing (now Bonnier Norsk Forlag) was acquired.