First-quarter revenue fall at HarperCollins

First-quarter revenue fall at HarperCollins

HarperCollins has reported a fall in revenues in the first quarter of its financial year, but has seen a growth in earnings across the same period.

The publisher, part of News Corp, reported sales for the three months ended 30th September 2013 of $328m (£205m), a fall of 7% from the $352m (£220m) earned in the same period in 2012.

However, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation), rose 8% from $40m (£25m) to $43m (£27m).

Figures for HarperCollins UK have not been broken out, but UK c.e.o. Charlie Redmayne said: "It was a good start to the year here, with margins up against the previous Q1 period. There was a particularly strong performance from Collins Learning, thanks to a deal with ADEC to supply science and English curriculum, and increased revenue from e-books."

Falling revenues were attributed in the report to the decision to sell off the Women of Faith live events business in the US, as well as leaving the third party distribution business in the US and "softness in the Christian publishing marketplace as compared to the previous year".

E-book sales increased by 30% from the same period in 2012, and accounting for 22% of revenues, rising from 15% in the previous year.

This is the first financial year for the newly formed News Corp, a business split off from the former News Corp which includes HarperCollins and other businesses including newspapers such as the Sun and the Times.

Chief executive Robert Thomson said: "Our first quarter as the new News was the beginning of a journey in the digital development of the company. There are certainly headwinds in Australia, magnified by inauspicious foreign currency movements, but we have been consistently cost conscious and are transforming our publishing operations longer-term into multi-platform businesses."