HarperCollins UK has described its annual performance as "strong", despite the operating income for NewsCorp's publishing arm as a whole dropping by almost one half in its fourth quarter results.
HarperCollins UK's individual figures were not broken out in the NewsCorp results, but a spokesperson for the publisher said it had been "another strong year" for HC UK, with revenue and profit for the company both "up", with a double-digit physical market share increase year-on-year and e-book revenues up by nearly 250% over the year.
The fourth quarter figures for the publishing division, which includes both HarperCollins and News International, which publishes the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times, were hit by both legal costs and the loss of the News of the World. In the USA, the company suffered another financial setback settling litigation charges related to e-book sales.
Overall, the publishing arm reported a quarterly segment operating income of $139 million, a $131 million decrease compared to the $270 million reported in the same period a year ago. NewsCorp president Chase Carey said that some of the publishing division’s assets had been written down to reflect their future earning potential, but said this related to the company’s Australian newspapers and not HarperCollins. Operating profits at NewsCorp as a whole were down 12.3% to $1.2 billion in the last quarter, but up 11% to $5.4 billion for the full year.