Global revenues dip at S&S but UK business sees 'turning point'

Global revenues dip at S&S but UK business sees 'turning point'

Simon & Schuster’s global revenues for 2019 fell 1% to $814m, with a 7% decline in operating income, parent firm ViacomCBS has said.

However, S&S UK c.e.o. Ian Chapman said the year had been a “turning point” for his business, with profits rising despite a slight decline in revenue.

The global business’ publishing revenues were $215m for the fourth quarter, falling 1% from $218m in the previous year. For the 12 months ending 31st December 2019, operating income before depreciation and amortisation stood at $143m, down from $153m the year before.

ViacomCBS said significant bestsellers for the fourth quarter included Stephen King’s The Institute, Alex DeMille’s The Deserter, and the relaunch of Joy of Cooking, while audio also saw “significant growth”.

The UK results were not split out in the published report but Chapman told The Bookseller: “2019/2020 marks an interesting turning point for S&S UK. The full year saw UK profits up from 2018 despite revenue being slightly down. 

“There has been a strategic shift take place over the past few months and we are seeing results across the list. Combining the mutual opportunities that come with the ViacomCBS merger with a renewed focus means we are well set up for growth this quarter and beyond.”

He added: “2020 has got off to a great start – from big brands such as Philippa Gregory to new titles such as Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo and When Time Stopped by Ariana Neumann looking incredibly strong.”

The financial results mark the first results since CBS and Viacom merged last year.

ViacomCBS total revenues were down 3% over the quarter, but full year results were up 2%.