Digital Sales Growth Drives Courier’s Positive Revenue Results
The book manufacturing segment focuses on three markets: education, religion, and specialty trade. Sales to the education market totaled $31 million in the fourth quarter, comparable to a year earlier. Education sales were $98 million, down 3 percent from fiscal 2011, due to shorter run lengths in certain college textbooks and continued weakness in elementary and high school sales. Sales to the religious market were up 6 percent to $19 million in the quarter, and up 2 percent to $68 million for the full year.
However, sales to Courier’s largest religious customer were up 13 percent in the quarter and up 5 percent for the year. Sales to the specialty trade market were up 25 percent to $17 million in the quarter, and up 11 percent to $60 million for the full year, reflecting increased four-color offset sales as well as growing demand for digital.
Revenues rose sharply at Courier Digital Solutions, reflecting growth in demand for customized versions of college textbooks as well as increased sales of trade books. With its current digital facilities running close to capacity, in October Courier announced plans to add both a new HP digital cover press in Massachusetts and a complete new digital production facility to complement its four-color offset plant in Kendallville, IN.
“In large measure, our book manufacturing business returned to seasonal form in the fourth quarter,” said Conway. “The difference is that the college textbook market continues to evolve toward a shorter peak season, with more customized editions prepared just ahead of the start of classes.
“However, we remain in excellent position to capture the digital growth opportunities this trend continues to create. With our new digital production capability at Kendallville, customers will soon be able to integrate top-quality digital and offset print strategies from a single location for complete life-cycle management of every title.