Harpercollins' 10 year long run of impressive results took another hit when they reported first quarter results which were materially short of the pace set in the corresponding quarter in 2006. From the press release:
"Book publisher HarperCollins owned by News Corp., reported first quarter operating income of $36 million and revenue of $330 million. This compares to operating income of $55 million and revenue of $368 million in the same quarter last year. The year-ago quarterly results benefited by the strong sales of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Current quarter results were highlighted by strong sales of The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden, Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich, Ana's Story by Jenna Bush and Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld."
From The Bookseller:
"But HCUK c.e.o. and publisher Victoria Barnsley said that despite this, HCUK's volume growth "outstripped the rest of the market", while value grew by 5%. "If you strip out the effects of the new Harry Potter book in July, we held our market share steady at 8.9%, level with the same period last year," she said."
Speaking to Publisher's Lunch, Jane Friedman (CEO) said "I would say we've probably not had a quarter this bad during my tenure." On the flip side she went on to note that the second quarter is off to a good start and one suspects that this quarterly performance is nothing to be concerned about. Indeed on the NewsCorp conference call publishing wasn't even mentioned.