Audio helps HarperCollins to record second quarter worldwide

Audio helps HarperCollins to record second quarter worldwide

HarperCollins achieved record revenue and EBITDA in the second quarter, parent company News Corp has reported, aided by the “burgeoning of digital audio”.

Worldwide revenues in the second quarter of 2019 rose 6% to a record $496m (£383.6m), up from $469m (£362.7m) the previous year. Meanwhile EBITDA also climbed to new heights, reaching $88m (£68m), an increase of 13% for the three months ending 31st December from $78m (£60.3m).

The strong quarter helped push its six-month revenues up 5% from $870 (£672.9m) to $914 (£707m) with EBITDA soaring by a significant 24% from $126m last year to £156m in 2019.

The boosted revenues were attributed to “higher sales in general books and Christian publishing, including the success of new titles such as Homebody by Joanna Gaines and The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom, as well as the continued success of Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis”.

Revenue growth was partially offset by $18m of lower revenues as a result of the adoption of the new revenue recognition standard, News Corp reported. Digital sales increased 12% compared to the prior year and represented 17% of consumer revenues for the quarter, driven by the growth in downloadable audiobook sales.

Results for the UK division were not broken out.

The “continued strength" of the book publishing business was highlighted as one of the main divisions responsible for News Corp’s overall revenues of $2.63bn, a 21% increase compared to $2.18bn in the prior year.

Commenting on the results, News Corp c.e.o. Robert Thomson alluded to how the “fact-challenged” climate meant audiences craved expert insights. He said: “News Corp has reported increased profitability and revenue growth during the first half of Fiscal 2019, highlighting the power of premium content and authenticated audiences in a fact-challenged world that craves credibility.”

Of the book publishing business, he said: “HarperCollins had another outstanding quarter, benefiting from best-in-class content and the burgeoning of digital audio.”

HarperCollins UK did not issue a comment on the figures.