Sales decline for Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster has blamed digital book sales off-setting print book sales for its fourth quarter publishing revenues declining by 6% to $215million.

The US-based publisher's parent company CBS Corporation posted its fourth quarter results this morning, which said: "Strong growth in digital book sales was more than offset by lower print book sales."

However, the company noted that digital book sales increased by 24% in the quarter from last year, which represented 24% of total publishing revenues for that time period. 

At the same time, operating income before depreciation and amortization increased $3million to $31 million from the same period last year, driven by  "lower expenses resulting from the growth in more profitable digital book sales as a percentage of total revenues." The operating income includes restructuring charges of $3 million for the fourth quarter of 2012 and $2 million for the same prior-year period.

Best-selling titles in the period included The Last Man by Vince Flynn and Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander.

The CBS Corporation’s executive chairman, Sumner Redstone, said: "CBS has turned in another quarter of exceptional performance, capping off another terrific year. Our results today speak to the strength of our strategy - producing and distributing great content and monetizing it over and over again." CBS reported its fourth quarter revenue was up by 2% to $3.7 billion.

The company did not break out results for its individual publishing regions.