Skip Links

“Penguin is one of the most famous brands in book publishing, known around the world for the quality of its publishing and its consistent record of innovation.”

John Makinson

Key performance indicators

£ millions 2011 2010 Headline growth CER growth Underlying growth
Sales 1,045 1,053 (1)% 1% 1%
Adjusted operating profit 111 106 5% 8% 8%

US bestsellers

The number of Penguin books entering the Top Ten bestseller lists in the US (New York Times).

UK bestsellers

The number of Penguin books entering the Top Ten bestseller lists in the UK (Nielsen Bookscan Top Ten).

E-book sales

Penguin global e-book sales as a percentage of Penguin Group net sales.

Penguin is one of the most famous brands in book publishing, known around the world for the quality of its publishing and its consistent record of innovation. Market conditions in 2011 were tough following the collapse of two major customers: Borders in the US and the REDGroup in Australia and New Zealand. Despite this, Penguin achieved robust sales and profits and gained market share in each of its major markets – the US, the UK and Australia.

Global highlights in 2011 include:

  • A strong and consistent publishing performance across imprints and territories produced market share gains in the US, UK and Australia, our three largest markets in a very challenging retail environment with the closure of more than 750 stores.
  • Growth in developing markets was boosted by the strength of the direct marketing channel and strong publishing in India, including its first 100,000 copy bestseller (Ravinder Singh’s Can Love Happen Twice?). In China, Penguin launched a new English language publishing programme.
  • Global publishing properties such as LEGO®, Wimpy Kid, Jamie Oliver and Kathryn Stockett’s The Help sold in significant numbers in multiple markets.
  • In January 2012, we acquired 45% of Companhia das Letras, a leading trade book publisher in Brazil, with whom we have an existing Classics publishing partnership.

Digital highlights in 2011 include:

  • eBook revenues doubled on the previous year and accounted for 12% of Penguin revenues worldwide, and more than 20% in the US, in 2011. Since the beginning of 2008, digital downloads of apps and ebooks across the Group have totalled approximately 50 million.
  • Penguin continued to invest in digital innovation, launching more than 100 apps and enhanced eBooks, including Wreck this App, On the Road and Moshi Monsters, and a new global digital‑only publishing programme, Penguin Shorts.
  • DK launched its first non-travel apps including the award‑winning DK Human Body. In January 2012 DK became the first consumer publisher to publish four iBooks2 titles using Apple’s new authoring tool.
  • Penguin continued to invest in direct‑to‑consumer initiatives including new digital platforms for readers, specifically aNobii in the UK and Bookish in the US. In Australia Penguin acquired the REDGroup’s online business. Penguin also signed its first author through its new self‑publishing platform BookCountry. Its websites and social media channels around the world now have a global following of more than 11 million.
  • Penguin continued to leverage Pearson‑wide digital platforms to transform its internal publishing processes, enabling faster product development and greater re‑use of content.

Publishing performance highlights in 2011 include:

  • In the US Penguin published a record 254 New York Times bestsellers including some of its repeat bestselling authors such as Tom Clancy, Patricia Cornwell, Ken Follett, Nora Roberts and Clive Cussler, as well as new talent such as Deborah Harkness, Amor Towles and Eleanor Brown. Kathryn Stockett’s The Help was the bestselling title across the US industry selling five million copies in print and digital in its third year since publication. The Young Readers’ division had another strong year achieving a high of 41 New York Times bestsellers.
  • Penguin UK published 78 top ten bestsellers, an increase of 15 on 2010, including two of the top five industry titles with Jamie Oliver’s 30‑Minute Meals and Dawn French’s A Tiny Bit Marvellous, and a robust performance by Penguin Children’s who were named Children’s Publisher of the Year in 2011. For a second consecutive year, Jamie Oliver secured the coveted Christmas number one slot with Jamie’s Great Britain. Jeff Kinney’s new Wimpy Kid title Cabin Fever sold 300,000 copies and was the fastest selling book of 2011.
  • DK’s bestseller success continued in 2011 with its LEGO® titles dominating the bestseller charts including The LEGO® Ideas Book, LEGO® Star Wars Character Encyclopaedia and LEGO® Star Wars Visual Dictionary. Titles from authors such as Annabel Karmel, Karl Pilkington and Mary Berry and the MasterChef titles also performed strongly.
  • In Australia, Penguin had the two top‑selling titles across the industry with Jamie’s 30‑Minute Meals and Jeff Kinney’s Cabin Fever and hit number one 24 times through the course of the year.
  • Penguin has a strong publishing list for 2012 with major new books from authors including Tom Clancy, Ken Follett, Charlaine Harris, Nora Roberts, Deborah Harkness, Junot Diaz, Kofi Annan, John Grisham and Richelle Mead in the US, and Jamie Oliver, David Walliams, Pippa Middleton, Dawn French, Marian Keyes, Clare Balding, Zadie Smith, Neil MacGregor, Michelle Paver, Philip Pullman and Jacqueline Wilson in the UK. DK will launch more LEGO® titles including the Ninjago Character Encyclopaedia, LEGO® Batman: The Visual Dictionary and LEGO® Friends Brickmaster, as well as titles from bestselling authors such as Mary Berry and a new MasterChef title. New digital properties for 2012 include Skylanders and global gaming franchise, Risen.

Pick of the year

In 2011, Penguin enjoyed bestseller success all around the world, including publishing 254 New York Times bestsellers and 78 top ten bestsellers in the UK. Here's a taste of the highlights:

Pick of the year