Courier Reports Education Sales Up, Borders Fallout Induces Loss
“The situation at Borders continued to be a major thorn in our side,” said Courier Chairman and CEO James F. Conway III. “The resulting shrinkage in trade demand affected both our own publishing segment and the publishing customers we serve as a manufacturer.
“Yet it was also a quarter of important accomplishments. With new presses up and running at both our Indiana and Massachusetts facilities, we extended our leadership in four-color technology while meeting high demand for college textbooks and even faster growth in customized textbook production. We had another solid quarter with our largest religious customer, helping them to bring Scriptures to more countries than ever. We published several books that won prestigious industry awards. And we completed the painful task of closing our one-color plant in Stoughton, MA, achieving significant savings with no adverse impact on our service to customers,” Conway continued.
“Not least of all, we also maintained our strong cash flow and healthy balance sheet. And as a result, we have once again declared our quarterly dividend of $.21 per share, signaling a continuing commitment to deliver value to shareholders,” he added
Book manufacturing: delivering with digital and offset
Courier’s book manufacturing segment had third-quarter sales of $55 million, down 3 percent from $56.8 million in last year’s third quarter. The segment’s third-quarter operating income was $5.1 million, up 35 percent from $3.7 million a year ago. Gross profit in the segment was $11.6 million or 21 percent of sales, versus $10 million or 17.6 percent of sales in fiscal 2010, reflecting an increased percentage of four-color work as well as operating efficiencies made possible by recent technology investments and the closing of the Stoughton plant.
For fiscal 2011 to date, book manufacturing sales were $163.6 million, up slightly from $161.7 million in fiscal 2010. The segment’s operating income through nine months was $11.3 million, versus $12.2 million in fiscal 2010, excluding the second-quarter restructuring costs.