Brazilian Publishers Rise Among Global Publishing Elite

By Carlo Carrenho

Textbooks from Brazil's Abril Educação

Although Austrian publishing consultant Rüdiger Wischenbart began compiling his annual listing of the world’s largest publishing companies in 2006, it was only recently that the first Brazilian companies appeared in the ranking. In fact, until last year Brazil wasn’t even considered in the study.

In the 2011 ranking (based on data from 2010), Wischenbart included three Brazilian companies in the publishing world’s elite: Saraiva, FTD and Abril Educação.

This year, the listing, which comprises all publishing companies with revenues over €150 million or $200 million in 2011, the three companies not only appear again, but have also secured better positions among the 54 publishers included.

The best-positioned of the three is Abril Educação, whose revenues grew by almost 38%, from 231.80 million euros in 2010 to 319.05 million euros in 2011. The company was in 46th place last year and is now number 40. Focused on textbooks under the imprints Ática and Scipione, Abril has acquired several companies and is one of the major sellers of books to the Brazilian government — which is the largest unique buyer of books in the country. The publisher is listed publicly and belongs to Grupo Abril, one of the largest national media groups.

Saraiva has also climbed a few rungs in the listing, to number 50 instead of 52. Its revenue hit 207.44 million euros last year, in comparison to 188 million euro in 2010. The company has strong operations in the textbook market, but is also an important publisher of books for university students and has an imprint for trade books called Benvirá as well.

Finally, FTD has reached 52nd place, four positions better than in last year’s ranking. It grew 8.42& in 2011, and ended the year with a revenue of 175.21 million euros, also as a result of its sales of textbooks to the government.

Abril, Saraiva and FTD are among the 15 companies, of the 54 listed, that had the largest growth in revenues in 2011, in comparison with 2010.

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