Courier’s Strong Quarter for Book Manufacturing Boosts Its Results

“Throughout the year, we maintained our solid cash flow and strong financial position, reducing our debt by $2 million from a year earlier to $21.5 million. With new presses up and running both at Courier Digital Solutions and at our Kendallville, IN four-color offset plant, the current round of capital expenditures is winding down. In its wake, we are better positioned than ever to deliver excellent service to our customers, many of whom face the same market challenges as we do. Helping them succeed remains the surest path to our own success,” Conway continued.

Book manufacturing: solid growth in education continues

Courier’s book manufacturing segment had fourth-quarter sales of $66.6 million, up 9 percent from $61.1 million last year. Operating income in the fourth quarter was $11.0 million, up 61 percent from $6.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.

For the full year, book manufacturing sales were $230.2 million, up 3 percent from $222.8 million in fiscal 2010. The segment’s full-year operating income was up 18 percent to $22.5 million, excluding the restructuring costs, versus $19.1 million in fiscal 2010.

The segment’s gross profit was $17.8 million or 26.7 percent of sales in the fourth quarter, versus $14.0 million or 22.8 percent a year ago. Gross profit for fiscal 2011 was $49.8 million or 21.7 percent of sales, excluding restructuring costs, versus $46.8 million or 21.0 percent of sales last year. The improvement in margins in a competitive pricing environment reflected an improved sales mix, operating efficiencies made possible by recent technology investments and the closing of the Stoughton plant, and increased recycling income.

The book manufacturing segment focuses on three markets: education, religion, and specialty trade.

• Sales to the education market were $31 million in the fourth quarter, up 16 percent from a year earlier. For the year, education sales were $100 million, up 9 percent from fiscal 2010, due to higher sales of college textbooks.

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