May 7 2009
The good news is that Harlequin is following up its successful FY2008 4th quarter with a FY2009 1st quarter profit. Revenue in the first quarter rose $13.5% and operating income increased 19.1%. Even including the forex effect, both sales and profits are showing positive gains. The gains were in North American Retail and Overseas. (I recall that Mills & Boon is making a big push in India). Direct to Consumer group is declining. (This has been trending downward for a while I believe).
The report at PW states that a decline in print sales was “partially offset” by increased digital sales and that digital sales is what is driving the Overseas increases. Harlequin is making a big push in Japan in the digital segment.
Conversely, HarperCollins is suffering another big loss. A $30 million charge due to corporate restructuring resulted in an operating loss of $38 million in the third quarter fiscal year. Even beyond the $30 million charge, though, was the sales decline of 19.5%. For the nine month period ending in March 31, 2009, HarperCollins has had a net loss of $12 million with total revenue down 16.8%. You can read more about both stories at Publisher’s Weekly.