MAIN NEWS HEADLINES
February 12 – February 19, 2009 Edition
And Profit Plummet
In Third Quarter
NEW YORK, NY/Authorlink News/02/06/09–Sales at HarperCollins fell 25% from $406 million last year to only $305 million in the quarter ended December 31, 2008, the lowest results since February 2002. And book publishing income fell 65% to $23 million. Bestsellers on the New York Times list dropped from 92 titles a year ago to 50 titles this in 2008.
Part of the decline was attributed to the stronger dollar, which lowers the relative value of sales in the UK and Canada. Ten percent of the sales decline, or about $10 million, was due to the rising dollar, according to its SEC report, and contributed $2.64 million to the decline in profits. The bankruptcy by the U.K. distributor EUK also contributed to the earnings decline.
Discounting the exchange rate and bankruptcy, Harper UK and International CEO Victoria Barnsley, told the media that her unit has seen a 13.5 percent increase in sales and that both revenues and market share are increasing.
HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray declined to discuss the quarterly results.
Parent company News Corp. took a total write-down of $8.4 billion, including $2.8 billion against the $5.7 billion acquisition of the Wall Street Journal, and fell short of analysts’ diminished expectations. In the
conference call, Rupert Murdoch said “we are implementing rigorous cost-cutting across all operations and reducing head count where appropriate.” He called the global economic crisis the worst NewsCorp has experienced in its 50 year history.