Culture

The Planet Prize increases its endowment to one million euros in 2022 and surpasses the Nobel


El presidente del Grupo Planeta, José Creuheras.
The Chairman of Grupo Planeta, José Creuheras. DAVID ZORRAKINO – EUROPA PRESS (Europa Press)

The Planet was, with its 601 . 000 euros, the best endowed prize for Spanish literature, accompanied by the tagline, “only surpassed by the Nobel.” This will have been the case until this edition: by surprise, the president of Grupo Planeta, Josep Creuheras, has announced that the award will now award its winner one million euros. And it does from this same edition, the 70 th . “It remains a tradition of this award since its foundation: we started with 40. 000 pesetas of the time and we have been increasing it gradually over the years ”, he assured. The head of the first Spanish-language publishing group did not want to enter into comparisons: “We are not in competition with anyone, we respond to a tradition and in a context of good book situation after the pandemic.” The Planet thus narrowly exceeds the Nobel prize, which is around 980.

euros. Accordingly, the finalist has also seen its amount increased to 200 . 000 euros, a 32% more That so far (150.250 euros).

Creuheras has announced the new bag in the framework of the massive press conference prior to the award that is failing this Friday, before more than 150 journalists, in Barcelona. If the return to the new normal needed an inaugural shot in the world of the book, this is the recovery, after the pandemic hiatus last year, it could not have more and better ammunition. The bag accompanies the wonders recovered from the Planeta prize, which recovers the traditional dinner in the generous space of the National Museum of Art of Catalonia, and will be the Kings of Spain.

The million euros comes in the year in which the award breaks records of originals presented, 654 novels, a clear trace of the recent covid past: it is a 11% higher than those presented in 2020 (582, when the Vitorian Eva García Sáenz de Urturi prevailed mixing the thriller with historical novel in Aquitaine . This genre is once again stitched by fantasy, the predominant one among the finalist novels.

Following tradition, the celebration of a round edition such as that of the 70 years will presence of the Kings of Spain, which will have its controversial counterpart in the position of the presidency of the Generalitat, which will delegate to its Minister of Culture, a tacit staging, from the procès , of the malaise of the Catalan government with the King and with Grupo Planeta itself, which moved its headquarters to Madrid.

Profits grow

The increase in the endowment of the award is part of the good progress that the Spanish publishing sector is experiencing, and in particular the Planeta group. “Almost doubling the endowment is not easy, but we have decided to take advantage of the good moment we have,” said Crehueras after the press conference. The president of the group is optimistic about how this year will close, although he does not venture figures, since a good part of the business will depend on the sales of the fourth quarter. In any case, he has ensured that they will exceed the figures of 2020, the year of the pandemic, in which the group billed 1. 500 million euros and obtained a gross operating profit before tax (ebitda) of 270 millions. In 2019, the turnover amounted to 1. 781 million euros and ebitda was 229 million.

Planet made a profit last year of approximately 55 million euros, as explained by the president. The previous year the group won 32 millions. Debt, which in 2019 was significantly reduced thanks to the sale of the French publisher Editis to Vivendi, continues on its downward path, and goes from 601 million to 500 current millions, refinanced last December. Crehueras has admitted that the Italian subsidiary of the group, DeA Planeta Libri, “is not going well”, and has predicted that the group will leave the shareholding in the near future.

The Planeta group is an editorial and communication conglomerate that has several lines of business. The publisher, which includes the different stamps it has in its catalog, assumes the 25% of the turnover, and Crehueras highlights that it still dominates the sale of paper books in an overwhelming way (a 95% compared to 5% of electronic books) and bought in bookstores (close to 70% of the total). The training business, in which Planeta has investments in universities around the world, represents the 25% of the total, while the audiovisual business (Planeta is a reference shareholder in the Atresmedia group and in La Razón) represents the 50%. The group also owns the Casa del Libro bookstore chain, and despite the ravages of the pandemic (Crehueras has acknowledged that it forced investment processes to slow down), the objective is still to extend the network even further: this year the They have opened five bookstores and the forecast is to open another six next year.

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