The Quarto Group

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The Quarto Group
Quarto Group Logo.png
Traded asLSEQRT
Founded1976 (as The Quarto Group)
FoundersBob Morley, Michael Jackson, Laurence Orbach[1]
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationLondon
DistributionHachette (UK, US)[2][3]
Key peopleChuk Kin Lau, President

Andy Cumming, Chairman

Polly Powell, Group CEO
RevenueIncrease $ 135.8 million (2019)

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

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 eight offices in London, Brighton, New York City, Boston, Seattle, Southern California and Hong Kong.[4] In July 2020, its publication 'This Book Is Anti-Racist' by Tiffany Jewell reached the Number 1 position on The New York Times bestseller list.[5]

The group was established by co-founders Laurence Orbach and Robert Morley and was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1986.[6] Laurence Orbach was chairman and CEO until November 2012, when he was replaced as chairman by Tim Chadwick and Marcus Leaver as CEO.[7]

Chuk Kin Lau, the principal shareholder, became Group CEO in July 2018.[8] In February 2020, the Italian publisher, Giunti took a significant shareholding.[9]

In September 2020, Chuk Kin Lau became President and Polly Powell was appointed Group CEO.[10]


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.[11] In 1986, Quarto listed on the London stock exchange.[12]

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.[13] By the 2000s, The Quarto Group had increased imprints and genres, along with this, a steady increase in its share value. In August 2011, The Quarto Group acquired independent UK book publisher Frances Lincoln for £4.5 million.[14]

In 2012, Marcus Leaver took over from Laurence Orbach as Group CEO[15] By 2014, the group had started two new children's imprints: Wide Eyed Editions and Words & Pictures,[16] and acquired Small World Creations. In 2015 Quarto acquired Ivy Press and Ivy Kids for £1.5m and continued its expansion[17] In 2016, Quarto acquired SmartLab and becker&mayer, a co-edition publisher based in Bellevue, WA, for $9.8 million.[18]

Quarto sold its last two non-publishing businesses in 2017 – Books & Gifts Direct (Australia/New Zealand) and Regent Publishing Services (Hong Kong) – and is now solely focused on its core publishing expertise.[19]


  • 2016 Waterstones Children's Book Prize – Illustrated Book: The Bear and the piano, by David Litchfield, published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.[20]
  • 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.[21]
  • Blue Peter Book Awards 2019, Best Book with Facts: The Colours of History, by Clive Gifford, published by QED Publishing.[22]
  • British Book Awards 2018, Rights Professional of the Year: Karine Marko, Group Director of Foreign Rights at The Quarto Group.[23]

International publishing partnerships[edit]

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.[24]

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.[25]



See also[edit]


  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. ^ "Young Adult Paperback Books - Best Sellers - Books - July 12, 2020 - The New York Times". The New York Times. 19 July 2020. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  6. ^ "The Quarto Grp Inc". Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Orbach removed as Quarto director". The Bookseller. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Orbach departs Quarto board | The Bookseller". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Italy's Giunti Buys into U.K.'s Quarto Group". Publishers Weekly. 11 February 2020. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  10. ^ "Powell made group c.e.o. at Quarto". The Bookseller. 18 September 2020. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  11. ^ Milliot, Jim (25 March 2016). "Quarto Group Comes of Age". Publishers Weekly.
  12. ^ "The Quarto Grp Inc". Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  13. ^ "Quarto's Jacqui Small prepares to step down | The Bookseller". Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  14. ^ Neill, Graeme (16 August 2011). "Quarto Snaps-up Frances Lincoln". The Bookseller. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  15. ^ "Directors & Dealings". Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  16. ^ Eyre, charlotte (16 October 2014). "Quarto predicts annual profits 122m". The Bookseller. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  17. ^ Farringdon, Joshua (25 February 2015). "Quarto buys Ivy Press for £1.3m". The Bookseller. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  18. ^ "Quarto Buys Becker&Mayer". Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  19. ^ Campbell, Lisa (24 March 2017). "Quarto disposes of Regent Publishing Services for $7m". The Bookseller. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  20. ^ Pauli, Michelle (17 March 2016). "David Solomons wins Waterstones prize with superhero story". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ "6 Books You Should Buy For Your Kids, According To Blue Peter Book Awards". HuffPost UK. 7 March 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  23. ^ "2018 Winners | The Bookseller". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  24. ^ "Stock Exchange". 14 April 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  25. ^ Cowdry, Catherine (26 April 2016). "Quarto launches Spanish language imprint: Quarto Iberoamericana". Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  26. ^ "Our Imprints | The Quarto Group". Retrieved 27 June 2019.

External links[edit]