Harlequin buy boosts HC first quarter

Harlequin buy boosts HC first quarter

HarperCollins Worldwide's acquisition of Harlequin has boosted its revenue and profits according to the first set of results released since the purchase was approved.

Revenues for the three months ending 30th September 2014, the first quarter of the 2015 fiscal year, stood at $406m (£254m), up 24% from $328m (£205m) in the same period the year before.

EBITDA for HarperCollins was $55m (£34m), up 28% from $43m (£26.9m) the year before.

In the results, the growth was attributed to two key factors, "the inclusion of the results of Harlequin and continued popularity of the Divergent series by Veronica Roth." Across the period, the publisher sold 3.5m net units of the Divergent series, boosted by the release of Four: A Divergent Collection.

E-book revenues improved by 28% compared to the previous year, with the growth mainly attributed to Harlequin, with e-book sales now representing 22% of consumer revenues. The higher contribution of profit from e-books, along with Harlequin and "ongoing operational efficiencies" were named as the source of growing earnings. Adjusted revenues, offset by the $5m (£3m) transaction fees for the Harlequin purchase, saw revenues up 6% and EBITDA up 23% compared to the previous year.

UK results were not broken out. The results formed part of a larger set of results released by parent company News Corp, which also saw overall growth in revenues and earnings. Chief executive Robert Thomson said: "This past quarter demonstrates that our strategy  to develop the new News for long-term growth is firmly on track." Referring to HarperCollins, he said: "Out team has already begun delivering on our expectations of increasing the international profile and potential of HarperCollins."

At the Frankfurt Book Fair, HarperCollins announced the creation of a new German division.

Yesterday it announced that HarperCollins Cananda c.e.o. David Kent would be leaving the publisher, with Canadian distribution now outsourced to RR Donnelley.