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The year in review Cappelen Damm 2010

Tom Harald Jenssen, Managing Director of Cappelen Damm about the year 2010.

How would you describe 2010?

2010 was quite a good year for Cappelen Damm and a great year for the Norwegian book trade although mega-bestsellers were conspicuous by their absence. After many prosperous years at a very high level overall, the book market in Norway showed a decline in 2010. The system of free school books for secondary school students has significantly reduced book sales, and the similar decline in book clubs has negatively impacted the market as a whole even though membership figures seem now to have stabilised. Against this backdrop Cappelen Damm again recorded profit growth in 2010, achieving a profit margin of 7.5 % for the first time. Otherwise 2010 was characterised by intense activity and future-oriented investments in digitalisation as well as new logistics solutions for physical books. The publisher's authors once more won prestigious national and international awards in 2010. The Cappelen Damm author Beate Grimsrud has been nominated for the Nordic Council's Literature Prize.

What was you greatest challenge in 2010?

We noted with great satisfaction that the intense efforts from many quarters led the Norwegian government to extend the book agreement for another four years, before Christmas. The book agree-ment regulates terms of trade in the publishing industry, and one of the things that the extension secured was fixed book prices in Norway. Increased profitability in a declining market proves that the efficiency measures after Cappelen and Damm merged have been successful.

What are your expectations for 2011?

The market as a whole will stabilise at the 2010 level. Although digital product sales will increase, they will still account for only a modest proportion of total revenue. I furthermore expect that Cappelen Damm will carve out a clearer e-commerce position by the end of the year. In this connection investments in a new logistics solution could play an important strategic role. Cappelen Damm must further improve its profit margin in 2011.