Friday, August 04, 2006

Simon & Schuster And Torstar Report

Simon & Schuster
The new Viacom division CBS corporation which was created earlier this year reported for the first time this week and the financial results for Simon & Schuster were separated out. It is a the first time these results have been segmented for a number of years because Viacom used to combine them with other revenues. S&S revenues for the half year period were $357mm up 7% versus last year. Operating income of $12mm was up 35% versus 2005. The improvement was due to increases in distribution but how much this impacted the full six months versus the recent quarter.

Torstar Still Having Problems.
Torstar, which owns under leveraged (my opinion) Harlequin Enterprises, revenues "slumped" according to Reuters for the quarter ended September 30th. Revenues for the book division apparently lead the decline. S0me of the decline at Harlequin was due to a supplier bankruptcy which disrupted a mailing campaign. Operating profit for Harlequin was off 30% ($3.7mm) which was ascribed to "underlying operations." The US direct to consumer operation accounted for $2.4mm of this variance. No mention was made whether they would recover this income although they have completed the mailing via in-housing the operations. Full year 2005 revenues were $526mm down 2.5% from the prior year. Operating income was down by a similar percentage. This business is crying for web applications but in a recent presentation by Harlequin I have seen they are incredibly conservative in spite of the resounding success of their tests (look for the presentations on the right of the page under "Connected Mobile Presentations"). Think about what Harlequin could do with the type of web initiatives that Harpercollins announced yesterday.

No comments: