The development of Mondadori, from manga to new bookstores

In the first half of 2022, Mondadori recorded an increase in turnover of 10.8%, which amounted to €355.1 million. The group’s EBITDA amounted to €26.8 million compared to €19 million over the same period last year. All in all, a rather satisfactory six months for the company.

Antonio Porro, CEO of Mondadori, interviewed by Engage.itDeclare that ” the markets in which we operate as publishers are responding very well. We obviously focus on books. We all wonder where we’ll be after summer, but we find it hard to answer “.

Indeed, certain difficulties and unknowns remain for the publishing group, as for many other companies: they are linked to the current problem of inflation and rising gas prices.

Mondadori nevertheless aims to close new M&A deals by the end of the year, and Antonio Porro says growth through external means — particularly in the book market — is fundamental in the modern world: In my opinion, in the modern world, and not just in the publishing industry, the leverage of M&A deals is strategic, the time for acquisitions and repositioning never ends. Growth through external means will therefore now be part of Mondadori’s strategy in the years to come.»

Diversification strategy and disposals

The manager went on to explain that the “complementarityis fundamental in this perspective of acquisitions and mergers:We must continue to enrich our portfolio above all with editorial genres and strong brands where the tradition of the Mondadori group is not present.Exemplary of this view is the acquisition of 51% of Star Comics at the end of June, which we will discuss in a moment.

However, the Mondadori Group is also active in the area of ​​disposals. He has meanwhile announced that he has finalized the sale to Artoni Group spa and SRH Srl, two operators of the local distribution of daily newspapers and magazines, of 51% of the share capital of Press-di Distribuzione Stampa e Multimedia srl. The company, owned by Mondadori Media spa, operates in the national distribution of magazines and newspapers for the Mondadori group and more than 90 other publishers.

Acquisition of Star Comics

On June 30, 2022, the Mondadori Group finalized the acquisition of 51% of Star Comics, a publishing house specializing in manga and leader in the comics sector for the book market. This house has been publishing regularly since the early 1990s and its catalog includes some of the world’s biggest hits, includingDragon Ball, One Piece, Demon Slayer, Detective Conan, Captain TsubasaandMy Hero Academia. In 2021, it recorded revenues of 21.6 million euros.

Mondadori thus obtains the first place among Italian comic book publishers in the bookstore market. Mondadori’s market share is around 30% by value, according to data from GfK in June 2022, via Fumettologica. Two other major publishers in the sector are Edizioni BD (with the J-Pop Manga brand) and Panini Comics (with the Planet Manga brand).

Search for the “complementarity

The price of the acquisition of 51% of the share capital of Edizioni Star Comics is 14.28 million euros. Under the terms of the agreement, Simone Bovini and Claudia Bovini will retain responsibility for the management of Edizioni Star Comics, remaining as general managers. The scope covered by the transaction also includes the acquisition of 100% of Grafiche Bovini, a company controlled by the Bovini family and focused on printing activities exclusively for products published by Star Comics.

Antonio Porro told Il Sole 24 Ore : “The exchange of skills between our group and an editorial reality such as Star Comics, whose people have been able to build recognized and consolidated leadership over time, enriched by a relationship of great value with their audience, will be interesting and profitable.“. Furthermore, thanks to synergies with the Mondadori group, the manga publishing house will have access to the most extensive network of bookstores in Italy, within which there are now spaces specifically dedicated to comics.

The bookstore network is expanding

Indeed, the network of Mondadori Retail bookstores is expanding more and more. The company notably announced that there will be thirteen new openings by 2022. The objective is to reach a total of 25 openings by 2022, as general manager Carmine Perna told Ansa.

Three new directly managed Mondadori bookstores will be opened in Lazio, Lombardy and Umbria, following the two openings in Genoa and Montenero di Bisaccia (Campobasso) last April and May.

The case of Lazio is particularly interesting, since it concerns the opening of a bookstore — of 260 square meters — after almost ten years, in the Latinafiori shopping center, one of the largest in Lazio, which has crossed a great crisis during the pandemic. Indeed in 2013, the Candido bookstore had closed, replaced by a clothing store, and for years the center remained without cultural offer.

An innovative concept

The ten other new bookstores will be part of the franchise network and will open in northern and southern Italy. It will be “bookstores designed as meeting and discovery places for local communities», According to Carmine Pena. The Mondadori bookstore concept has in fact been renewed: the offer for children and young people has been enhanced with the creation of a space called We are Junior. A space designed to accommodate even the youngest, with books and educational games.

And there is also the Just Comics format, dedicated to the world of comics and illustrated books, from manga to graphic novels, from superheroes to great Italian authors, with a project conceived as a “fumetteria” (in reference to fumetti, which stands for comics in Italian) in the bookstore.

artwork: Mondadori