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The forex effect will impact Harlequin

The Canadian dollar is falling to “levels not seen since mid 2005.” Harlequin is based in Canada and it’s economic outlook can be hugely affected by a fluctuating Canadian/U.S. dollar exchange rate. In the past, the decreased value of the US dollar has led to lowered profits so perhaps the increase of the US dollar will mean good things for Harlequin.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

6 Comments

  1. Jorrie Spencer
    Oct 27, 2008 @ 12:56:04

    I thought the previously high Canadian dollar had hurt Harlequin, so I’m a bit confused. I suppose the unpredictability can be a problem?

  2. MeganH
    Oct 27, 2008 @ 13:02:29

    I remember that Harlequin complained about the effect of the rising dollar a couple years ago because they made a lot of their money in US$, so I think it will probably be a good thing for them. For every book sold in Canada they lose money because the Canadian sticker price is too low, but you can also see it as making extra money on every book sold in the States. Plus, they may pay a lot of their operating expenses in Canadian $$.

    I just checked their online prices, and they have definitely already been repriced in CAD. A $3.99US book is $4.79CAD. That’s a little below today’s exchange rate, but not the parity we were seeing.

    For Canadian readers though, the falling dollar will be a blow once the publishers re-price. We were getting used to cheaper book prices.

  3. Jane
    Oct 27, 2008 @ 13:04:36

    @JorrieSpencer – I had thought that the weak Canadian dollar hurt harlequin. A May 2008 article that I posted, though, indicates the opposite. From the very smart Ann Bruce:

    The depressed US dollar is also lowering profits of books sold in Canada since Harlequin has lowered the Canadian retail price to be more in line with the US. In the case of MIRA books, they're at par.

    Some other publishers *cough*Harper Collins*cough* have decided to strip off the US retail price off Canadian editions so they still charge Canadians a 30%-45% premium.

  4. Ann Bruce
    Oct 27, 2008 @ 18:12:54

    Jane said, “In the past, the decreased value of the US dollar has led to lowered profits so perhaps the increase of the US dollar will mean good things for Harlequin.”

    Jorrie said, “I thought the previously high Canadian dollar had hurt Harlequin.”

    You’re both saying the same thing…just using different currency. :)

    The lowered CAD is also good for Canuck authors who get paid in USD. :D

  5. Harlequin’s Profits Are Up and HarperCollins Profits Are Down | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
    May 07, 2009 @ 15:17:30

    [...] 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 [...]

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