Digital Sales Growth Drives Courier’s Positive Revenue Results
“It was also a quarter in which religious sales returned to form, with a double-digit increase at our largest customer more than making up for a couple of short quarters,” Conway continued. “Over the year, religious sales grew in keeping with longer-term trends associated with our ongoing partnership with this customer to bring Scriptures to people in more than 100 countries.
“Finally, it was a quarter of continued growth in trade sales, as we landed several new accounts while also achieving higher volume with a number of long-time customers. In a tough competitive environment, publishers appreciate our combination of quality, efficiency and responsiveness across the whole spectrum of one- to four-color work, both offset and digital. And the productivity of our people and workplaces, always high, continues to improve, helped further by our consolidation of one-color print capacity earlier in the year.”
Publishing Segment Trims Loss, Increases Online Offerings
Courier’s publishing segment includes three businesses: Dover Publications, a niche publisher with thousands of titles in dozens of specialty trade markets; Research & Education Association (REA), a publisher of test preparation books and study guides; and Creative Homeowner, which publishes books and plans on home design, decorating, landscaping and gardening.
Fourth-quarter revenues for the segment were $10.1 million, comparable to last year’s fourth quarter, with 9 percent sales growth at Dover offset by weak results at REA and Creative Homeowner. Despite its sales decline, REA remained profitable, but Dover and Creative Homeowner reported operating losses. Overall, the segment’s fourth-quarter operating loss was $426,000, versus $872,000 in fiscal 2011.
For the year as a whole, publishing sales were $38.4 million, down 6 percent from $40.8 million in fiscal 2011, with sales up modestly at Dover but down at the other two businesses. Excluding restructuring costs in both years, the segment’s operating loss for fiscal 2012 was $3.7 million, versus a loss of $4.1 million in fiscal 2011. The reduction in the loss was attributable to the effects of cost-reduction measures taken throughout the year.