MAIN NEWS HEADLINES
August 13 – August 20, 2009 Edition
HarperCollins Fourth Quarter and Full Year Decline
HarperCollins reported fourth quarter adjusted operating loss of $1 million for the period ended June 30, 2009, and full year adjusted operating income of $17 million, a decline of $29 million and $143 million as compared to the prior year periods, respectively. The decline was largely due to the weak retail market.
Current quarter results included solid sales of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey, Sooner or Later by Debbie Macomber and L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad.
Additionally in the fourth quarter, HarperCollins had 62 books on The New York Times bestseller list, including five books that reached the number one spot. For the full year, HarperCollins had 165 books on The New York Times bestseller list, including 15 titles reaching the number one spot.
HarperCollins, one of the world’s leading English-language publishers is a subsidiary of News Corporation. Unadjusted, the company posted an operating loss of $4 million and a 20.6% decline in revenues to $278 million in the fourth quarter ended June 30. For the full year, revenue fell 17.8% to $1.14 billion. The fiscal 2009 decline includes $33 million in one-time charges with $30 million taken in the third quarter when HC reorganized and cut about 200 jobs.
CEO Brian Murray said in a written statement that fiscal 2009 has been “a challenging year.” He attributed HC’s sagging performance to a general decline in book sales and in backlist reorders, and to the Anderson News bankruptcy. Murray forecast an upbeat fall list and said the company is “looking forward to a new year.”
Parent company, News Corporation, reported full year adjusted operating income of $3.6 billion, a $1.7 billion decline from the record $5.3 billion of adjusted operating income reported a year ago, with current year revenues of $30 billion, down 8% from the $33 billion reported in fiscal 2008. The full year adjusted operating income decline was the result of lower contributions at the majority of the Company’s businesses that more than offset 32% growth at the Cable Network Programming segment.
Commenting on the results, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch said: .I am pleased that we are reporting adjusted operating income right in line with the guidance we previously provided during the last six months which reflects a decline of approximately 30%.
“The past year has been the most difficult in recent history, and our 2009 financial performance clearly reflects the weak economic environment that we confronted
throughout the year. We streamlined all our businesses and continue to do so, at the same time adjusting to the revolutionary changes taking place throughout the media industry.
“This has presented us with many challenges and also opportunities. We have strengthened all our franchises and are particularly well placed for the coming recovery.
Nearly all our businesses have improved market share. Particular progress has been made in cable network programming. I am certain that News Corporation is poised to profit, and deliver strong returns, as the economy rebounds.”