Further quarterly revenue drop at S&S

Further quarterly revenue drop at S&S

Revenues for Simon and Schuster's global operations dropped 5.7% year on year in the second quarter of  2015, its parent company CBS has reported. The total for the quarter stood at $199m, a drop of $12m.

However operating income was $25m, up 9% from $23m in the second quarter of 2014, with CBS saying that the “revenue decline was more than offset by lower production and distribution costs”.

The announcement follows on from a 5.5% revenue decrease year-on-year ($145m, compared with $153m) in the first quarter, attributed to "lower print book sales".

Sales and profit both dropped year-on-year at S&S's global operations in 2014.

S&S c.e.o. Carolyn Reidy told Publishers Lunch that she considered the business “more flat” than down, and that she hoped “to end the year up a bit”.

Reidy said: “Obviously our goal is to grow revenues, but there are so many factors to it. Not just the switch from physical to e-books, but the pricing on e-books, and the changes in how e-books are sold; all those things factor in.”

Digital revenues represented 24% of Simon & Schuster’s total revenues for the second quarter of 2015.

Simon & Schuster and Amazon signed a new multiyear deal, a "return to a version of agency" in October last year.

Publishers Lunch said e-books comprised 20.1% of sales in the quarter, down from 22.3% in the second quarter of 2014.

When asked if new e-book terms had brought down sales in digital, Reidy said: “What we do know is it hasn't. We've done a lot of studies of this and our unit sales are absolutely holding. So we're very pleased with the new arrangement, and the results of it. There can be effects from pricing changes, but now the pricing changes we're doing ourselves."

Bestselling titles at the publisher during the quarter included The Wright Brothers by David McCullough and Finders Keepers by Stephen King, said CBS.