HC Worldwide makes third-quarter loss

<p>HarperCollins Worldwide saw its sales shrink 20% in the first three months of 2009, with a $30m restructuring charge relating to its recent round of redundancies sending the business into a third-quarter loss. The result continues a difficult trend for the publisher, with sales down 25% and operating profits off by three-quarters in its previous quarter.</p><p>The publisher recorded a sales drop from $302m to $243m in the three months to end-March 2009, with the business reporting an operating loss of $38m, compared with last year&#39;s $29m profit, a drop of $67m. Over the nine months to end-March sales are down 17%, from $1bn to $863m, with an operating loss of $12m, against a profit of $132m a year earlier.<br /><br />There was no information in the News Corp statement about the international business. In its previous quarter it said the UK arm had put in a &quot;strong&quot; performance over the second-quarter to end-December 2008. Earlier this week HarperCollins released its UK statutory accounts for the year to end-June 2008, which showed sales growth of 2.8%, with group operating profits up 2.6%.</p><p>News Corp blamed the performance on &quot;the weakening retail market&quot;. During the quarter, HarperCollins had 55 books on the <em>New York Times</em> bestseller list, including seven books that reached the number 1 spot, it said.</p>