Digital Sales Growth Drives Courier’s Positive Revenue Results
“A year after the Borders bankruptcy, our publishing businesses have taken significant steps to regain their footing,” said Conway. “Part of the solution is to provide content which consumers can access directly online, and we have delivered that: Dover with its DoverPictura.com online image library; REA with its All Access program, allowing students to access test prep materials anytime via mobile devices; and Creative Homeowner with its UltimatePlans.com downloadable home plan business.
“A larger part of the solution, of course, is sales through online retailers, where we saw double-digit growth this year in the segment. But while REA shared in the growth, it continued to suffer from the absence of Borders’ bricks-and-mortar network, where REA products had benefited from prominent placement in store displays. Developing other channels remains a key agenda item for REA in the coming year,” Conway added.
“Finally, the third piece is our entry into e-books. After considerable investment, we now have thousands of titles available to consumers across all four leading e-book platforms of Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble and Google. The first fruits of this effort started to materialize during the fourth quarter.”
“Once again we have come through a year of economic uncertainty with good prospects and solid finances,” said Conway. “With our debt down and our organization more efficient than ever, we have been able to invest in growth opportunities we could not have foreseen just a few years ago.
“Bolstered by strong customer relationships in key long-term markets, we expect to continue to outpace the overall education market with our integrated solutions for customized textbook production, seize additional short-run opportunities among trade publishers, and continue the steady expansion of our responsibilities on behalf of our largest religious customer. And as a publisher, while we remain cautious about consumer spending, we expect to begin to benefit from our investments in eBooks and other digital content to complement our print offerings,” he continued.