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Courier Reports Sales Increase, Return to Profitability

November 15, 2010
NORTH CHELMSFORD, MA—Nov 15, 2010—Courier Corp., one of America's leading book manufacturers and specialty publishers, announced fourth-quarter and full-year results for its fiscal year ended Sept. 25, 2010.

Courier's consolidated fourth-quarter revenues were $70.2 million, up 3 percent from $68.4 million in last year's fourth quarter. Net income for the fourth quarter was $1.1 million, including a non-cash, pre-tax impairment charge of $4.7 million related to the company's Creative Homeowner publishing business. Excluding the impairment charge, net income for this year's fourth quarter would have been $4.2 million. Net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 was $5.7 million.

For fiscal 2010 overall, Courier sales were $257.1 million, up 3 percent from $248.8 million in fiscal 2009. Net income for the year was $7.1 million, vs. a loss of $3.1 million last year. Excluding the fourth-quarter impairment charge, net income for fiscal 2010 would have been $10.2 million,

“In the current economy, we knew that sales growth would be hard to achieve,” said Courier Chairman and CEO James F. Conway III. “But we did it, returning to profitability while achieving higher sales in all three of our major book manufacturing markets and two of our three publishing brands. Once again we benefited from our balanced portfolio of markets and complementary businesses. Building on our strong customer relationships, we were able to grow share in key markets and secure additional business for the future. In addition, we made investments in our book manufacturing segment that have already begun improving performance in publishing as well.

“With our January acquisition of Highcrest Media and our spring installation of advanced four-color digital inkjet technology from HP, we launched Courier Digital Solutions (CDS), gaining access to the high-growth market for customized college textbooks as well as a range of other short-run opportunities in education and trade. CDS's very first customer was our own Dover Publications, which has quickly begun to capitalize on the economies of digital printing to reduce inventory while reviving dozens of titles from its vast backlist.

“We also are investing in much-needed additional capacity at our big four-color offset plant in Kendallville, IN, with a new press scheduled for December startup. Already widely regarded as the most efficient four-color book plant in the United States, the Kendallville plant will become even more so to meet projected demand in education and specialty trade.

“At the same time, in an uncertain economy we took care to manage frugally without compromising our service to customers. Faced with the continuing weakness in the home improvement market, we took steps to further reduce operating costs at our Creative Homeowner publishing business while safeguarding its award-winning editorial quality for the market's eventual recovery. We made capital investments totaling $25 million related to Courier Digital Solutions and our new press at Kendallville. And we finished the year in a strong financial position with solid cash flow. I am also pleased to report that once again, Courier's Board of Directors declared a dividend of $.21 per share, the same as last quarter."

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