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Courier Reports Growth in Book Manufacturing Segment

January 25, 2012
NORTH CHELMSFORD, MA— Jan. 25, 2012—Courier Corp. announced results for the quarter ended Dec. 24, 2011, the first quarter of its 2012 fiscal year. Revenues for the quarter were $62.9 million, up 3 percent from last year’s first-quarter sales of $61.2 million. Net income for the quarter was $1.5 million, compared to $1.7 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2011.

Results in this year’s first quarter included a pretax charge of $1.5 million related to severance and post-retirement benefit costs, as well as a pretax gain of $0.6 million from the sale of certain non-operating assets.

Sales gains were concentrated in Courier’s book manufacturing segment, reflecting the effects of multiyear agreements with key customers in the education and religious markets, with particularly strong growth in Courier Digital Solutions’ customized college textbook business.

Sales in the company’s publishing segment were down from last year’s first quarter, which included nearly $500,000 in sales to Borders Group. Borders filed for bankruptcy in February 2011 and completed the liquidation of its store inventories in September, eliminating a major outlet for books and undercutting sales at other booksellers during this period.

“Our book manufacturing segment got the new fiscal year off to a solid start,” said Courier Chairman and CEO James F. Conway III. “It was particularly gratifying to see positive sales trends in all three of our major markets of education, religion and specialty trade.

“Our publishing segment had a challenging quarter as the industry continued to work through the effects of the Borders liquidation and Creative Homeowner continued to suffer from the troubles in America’s housing sector. However, the segment achieved several important milestones, including the release of over 1,000 titles in e-book format and the launch of REA’s new All Access program, which combines printed study guides, online diagnostics and a mobile flashcard app into a powerful new resource for AP test preparation.

“With our debt level reduced by $3 million during the quarter to less than $19 million, we head into the spring season in a strong financial position—in recognition of which Courier’s Board of Directors once again declared a quarterly dividend of $.21 per share, marking the start of our nineteenth consecutive year of dividend payments,” Conway added.

Book manufacturing grows across all three markets

Courier’s book manufacturing segment had first-quarter sales of $56 million, up 6 percent from $53 million in last year’s first quarter. The segment’s operating income for the quarter was $4.2 million. Excluding severance and post-retirement benefit costs, the segment’s operating income was $5.1 million, up 34 percent from $3.8 million a year ago.

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