Friday, May 08, 2009

Two of the Big Six Report Results

Both HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster reported ugly financial results this week.

On Wednesday, Publishers Weekly reported on HarperCollins:
A $30 million charge tied to corporate restructuring drove HarperCollins into the red in the third-quarter and nine-month periods ended March 31. With the charge, HC had an operating loss of $38 million in the third quarter compared to income of $29 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2008.
Talking about HarperCollins, Publishers Lunch reported:
Sales at HarperCollins dropped by nearly 20 percent in their fiscal third quarter through the end of March, falling by $59 million to $243 million for the period . . . The drop in sales is only modestly better than the 25 percent drop-off last quarter.
Publishers Weekly had this to say about Simon & Schuster:
Late Thursday afternoon Simon & Schuster parent company CBS announced that the publishing house had an operating loss of $2.1 million compared to operating income of $14.6 million in last year’s first period. Sales declined 19.8%, to $161.7 million . . . S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy said results were “somewhat worse than our original expectations.”
Publishers Lunch reported on Simon & Schuster, too:
CEO Carolyn Reidy says that the quarter started poorly and then improved. "In our first quarter we usually have strong carryover sales from the fall." But "consumers stopped buying" and "our strong fall titles collapsed at the end of the year . . . It really wasn't until the middle of March that we started seeing some liveliness in our sales."

Though improving, Reidy says "the market hasn't completely recovered," . . . and the "backlist is still soft." But "our children's list is stronger" and the "teen portion in particular has shown remarkable strength in this market."

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