January 1-15, 2004 Edition

Scholastic Posts

Six Percent Gains

For 2nd Fiscal Quarter

NEW YORK, NY/12/18/03–Scholastic Corporation, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, announced a sales increase of 6 percent to $699 million for the second fiscal quarter of 2003. However, net income declined by 11 percent to $66.7 million.

Sales of the Harry Potter series dropped dramatically in the second quarter to $13 million down from $170 million in the first quarter. In the second quarter of the previous year, the first four titles in the Potter series had sold $25 million. Since last June 12 million copies of Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix have been sold. Earnings in fiscal 2003 also include one-time charges of $4.4 million, in part as a result of severance packages.

Company chairman Dick Robinson said that at the halfway point of fiscal 2003, the company was on track to achieve its financial targets. Total sales in the first half of the year were up 21 percent to $1.17 billion, and net income increased 38 percent, to $41.9 million.