The Quarto Group

The Quarto Group (LSE: QRT) is a global illustrated book publishing group founded in 1976. It is domiciled in the United States and listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The Quarto Group
Traded asLSE: QRT
Founded1976 (as The Quarto Group)
FoundersBob Morley, Michael Jackson, Laurence Orbach[1]
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationIslington
DistributionHachette (UK, USA)[2][3]
Key peopleChuk Kin Lau, CEO
Andy Cumming, Chairman
Revenue $ 149.3 million (2018)

Quarto creates and sells illustrated books for adults and children, across 50 countries and in 40 languages through a variety of traditional and non-traditional channels. Quarto employs c.330 people in 8 offices in London, Brighton, New York City, Boston, Seattle, California and Hong Kong[4].

The group was established by co-founders Laurence Orbach and Robert Morley and was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1986.[5] Laurence Orbach was Chairman and CEO until November 2012, when he was replaced as Chairman by Tim Chadwick and Marcus Leaver as CEO.[6]

Leaver resigned in May 2018[7] following a dispute with major shareholders Laurence Orbach and Chuk Kin Lau of the Lion Rock Group printing company, over the group's direction. Consequently, Chuk Kin Lau has been CEO of The Quarto Group since July 2018[8].


The Quarto Group was founded by Bob Morley, Michael Jackson and Laurence Orbach in the early 1970s and was finally established as The Quarto Group in 1976.[9] In 1986, Quarto listed on the London stock exchange.[10]

By the late 1990s, Quarto had acquired three new imprints, Rotovision, Book Sales Inc and Rockport Publishers and founded Quarto Children's Books, Quintet and Quintessence that published art, health, lifestyle and children's books. The group expanded further in the US – with the addition of Book Sales, Rockport Publishers, Walter Foster, Creative Publishing International, Motorbooks, and more recently, Cool Springs Press. In the UK, Quarto grew by acquiring Aurum Press and then Jacqui Small in 2004[11]. By the 2000s, The Quarto Group had increased imprints and genres, along with this, a steady increase in its share value.[9] In August 2011, The Quarto Group acquired independent UK book publisher Frances Lincoln for £4.5 million.[12]

In 2012, Marcus Leaver took over from Laurence Orbach as Group CEO [13] and in the same year, the group made a profit of $11.4 million (£7.3 million) on revenue of $181 million (£116 million).[14] Since then, the group has pursued a stated strategy of growing both organically and through judicious acquisitions, while constantly focusing on operational efficiencies.

With increasing profit, 2013 saw a restructure of The Quarto Group by creating and renaming four distinct businesses:[15] Quarto Publishing UK, Quarto Publishing US, Quarto Publishing International Co-editions and Books & Gifts Direct. By 2014, the group had started two new children's imprints: Wide Eyed Editions and words & pictures,[16] and acquired small world creations[14] This helped the increase in share price by 60% since 2010.[17] In 2015 Quarto acquired Ivy Press and Ivy Kids for £1.5m and continued its expansion [18] In 2016, Quarto acquired becker&mayer, a co-edition publisher based in Bellevue, WA, for $9.8 million.[19]

In 2017, Quarto implemented a new organizational structure, moving away from geographic business divisions and encouraging imprints to be run as independent businesses with creative, commercial and financial oversight from the centre. The group has established a central platform that includes finance, operations, sales, marketing and foreign rights sales and that services all its imprints.[20]

That same year, Quarto sold its last two non-publishing businesses – Books & Gifts Direct (Australia/New Zealand) and Regent Publishing Services (Hong Kong) – and is now solely focused on its core publishing expertise.[21]


  • 2016 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize – Illustrated Book: The Bear and the piano, by David Litchfield, published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books[22].
  • 2017 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize – Illustrated Book: There’s a tiger in the garden, by Lizzy Stewart, published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books[23].
  • Blue Peter Book Awards 2019, Best Book with Facts: The Colours of History, by Clive Gifford, published by QED Publishing[24].
  • British Book Awards 2018, Rights Professional of the Year: Karine Marko, Group Director of Foreign Rights at The Quarto Group[25].

International publishing partnerships

The Quarto Group has launched a number of foreign-language imprints through international partnerships with foreign publishers. These include:

Quarto Editora The Quarto Editora imprint was launched in Brazil in 2014 through an international publishing partnership with Brasil Franchising and their publishing business Editora Nobel. Quarto Editora publishes in categories such as cookery, beauty and self-help. Nobel Editora distributes the books through its franchises and main book trade channels.

Kalimat Quarto Kalimat Quarto was launched in 2016 as an international publishing partnership with Sharjah-based Kalimat Group. The imprint publishes books in Arabic and distributes them throughout the Middle East and North Africa.[26]

Quarto Iberoamericana Announced in May 2017, Quarto Iberoamericana is Quarto's Spanish language imprint launched in partnership with Argentina-based publisher Catapulta Editores S.L. The imprint publishes 20 books a year with the first six books, launching in Autumn 2017, in adult categories such as cookery, lifestyle and spirituality. Catapulta Editores will be responsible for sales and distribution in Spain, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. Quarto is expected to announce more partners to distribute the books in the rest of Latin America and North America in the near future.[27]



See also


  1. "The Quarto Group (UK): The Quarto Story". Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  2. Our Clients
  3. Hachette - Our Clients
  4. "Investor Reports & Presentations | The Quarto Group". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  5. "The Quarto Grp Inc". Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  6. "Orbach removed as Quarto director". The Bookseller. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  7. "Leaver resigns as Quarto c.e.o. | The Bookseller". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  8. "Orbach departs Quarto board | The Bookseller". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  9. "Return and Declaration Delivered for Registration by Oversea Company (UK):". Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  10. "The Quarto Grp Inc". Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  11. "Quarto's Jacqui Small prepares to step down | The Bookseller". Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  12. Neill, Graeme (16 August 2011). "Quarto Snaps-up Frances Lincoln". The Bookseller. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  13. "Directors & Dealings". Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  14. Farringdon, Joshua (12 March 2013). "Quarto Looks to Cut Debt After 2012 revenue fall". Bookseller. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  15. Farringdon, Joshua (12 March 2013). "Quarto Looks to Cut Debt After 2012 revenue fall". Bookseller. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  16. Eyre, charlotte (16 October 2014). "Quarto predicts annual profits 122m". The Bookseller. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  17. Eyre, charlotte (4 April 2014). "Williams made Frances Lincoln publisher". The Bookseller. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  18. Farringdon, Joshua (25 February 2015). "Quarto buys Ivy Press for £1.3m". The Bookseller. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  19. "Quarto Buys Becker&Mayer". Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  20. Millot, Jim (24 April 2017). "Quarto Group Restructures Sales and Marketing". Publisher's Weekly. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  21. Campbell, Lisa (24 March 2017). "Quarto disposes of Regent Publishing Services for $7m". The Bookseller. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  22. Pauli, Michelle (17 March 2016). "David Solomons wins Waterstones prize with superhero story". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  23. Kean, Danuta (30 March 2017). "Waterstones children's book prize goes to 'mesmerising' debut adventure story". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  24. "6 Books You Should Buy For Your Kids, According To Blue Peter Book Awards". HuffPost UK. 7 March 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  25. "2018 Winners | The Bookseller". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  26. Exchange, Stock (14 April 2016). The Stock Exchange Retrieved 11 May 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. Cowdry, Catherine (26 April 2016). Quarto launches Spanish language imprint: Quarto Iberoamericana Retrieved 11 May 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. "Our Imprints | The Quarto Group". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
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