Introduction of the Líra Könyv Zrt. (Líra Books Corporation)

Líra Könyv Zrt. (Líra Books Corporation) is one of the most important participants of the Hungarian book market. The company was founded during the privatization of the formerly state owned book retailer in 1993. In 1998 Líra became a company with the biggest net equity in the Hungarian book market. Líra plays a significant role in book retailing and in book publishing as well. In August 2003 Líra has opened the biggest book wholesale division in the country.

We operate 63 bookstores all over the country, out of these shops 42 stores are owned by the company and 21 are managed in franchise system. Líra bookstores offer a very wide range of Hungarian and foreign language fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. Some stores also sell CD-s, CD-ROM-s, audio books and DVD-s. The stores producing the biggest turnover are the Fókusz Book Stores (Budapest, Szeged, Pécs, Miskolc). We have several specialised bookstores (medical, technical) and the rest of the stores are smaller shops mostly located in the city centres. Some of them are to be found in shopping malls. Our online bookstore (www.lira.hu) is also well-known in the book market. Rózsavölgyi and Co. Ltd. (as part of the Líra Könyv Zrt.) operates as a retailer and publisher too. Two music shops (Rózsavölgyi and Kodály) in Budapest are managed by the ltd. and nowadays the publishing activity is revitalized of the famous 153 year old company. The recently opened Rózsavölgyi Szalon at the 1st floor of Rózsavölgyi bookshop offers quality programs all year long.

Líra also owns six publishing houses. Magvető is the leading publisher in fiction in Hungary publishing contemporary Hungarian authors’ works such as the Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertész, Péter Esterházy, Pál Závada, Zsuzsa Rakovszky, Lajos Parti Nagy, Attila Bartis, Ádám Bodor or István Szilágyi. Magvető also plays a significant role in publishing works of classical Hungarian authors (Géza Csáth, Antal Szerb, Gyula Krúdy, Géza Ottlik, György Petri, Ottó Orbán, Miklós Szentkúthy), works of notable authors of world literature (Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Michel Houllebecq) and works of young Hungarian authors. Corvina Publishing house is well known in Hungary of its fine art albums, popular educational, tourism related books and textbooks. The main profile of Athenaeum Publishing house is publishing popular fiction and non-fiction books. The most famous authors of the company are Paulo Coelho, Tom Wolfe, Frank Schatzing, Lawrence Norfolk, Ibolya Görög, Laszlo Passuth and Tibor Bános. Mano Konyvek is a children’s book publishing company established in 2004. Mano Konyvek is the Hungarian publisher of the world famous Smurfs series, Lego books and Sesamee Street.

Launching our wholesale warehouse in Budapest, Dankó Street was the biggest expansion of the company in 2003. Almost the whole selection of the Hungarian book market can be found in this warehouse.

In 2007 Líra acquired 100% of Sunbooks (3 billion HUF annual turnover), the leading Hungarian book and DVD wholesale company. Sunbooks is focusing on hypermarkets, being the largest book supplier of Tesco and Auchan. Sunbooks has also contracts with MediaMarkt, Saturn, and Office Depot. In 2008 Sunbooks moved to the Líra headquarters and slowly merged with Líra.

Family Kolosi owns 88% of Líra Könyv Zrt. and other owners (partly employees of the company) own 3% of the shares. The company’s own capital is 2 Billion HUF, from which 1,5 Billion is invested in properties. According to market estimates the value of the company is 4-4,5 Billion HUF.