Scholastic has reported a 7% rise in revenue for its first quarter results to $232.6m (£185m) due partly to its YA titles and graphic novels imprint Graphix.
The global children’s publishing, education and media company saw its revenue increase by 7% to $232.6m (£185m), from $218.4m (£173m) for the first fiscal quarter ending 31st August 2019, compared to the same period for 2019.
Operating income - which was a loss in the first quarter - also increased by 4% to $87.4m (£69m) compared to an operating loss of $83.8m (£66m) a year ago, which the publisher said was “mainly attributable to higher technology-related overhead expense, partially offset by the contribution on higher revenues”. Scholastic said in its results that it typically reports a loss in its fiscal first quarter, when most US schools are not in session.
Excluding one-time items, the operating loss in the first quarter was $83.1m (£66m), which marks a slight reduction from 2019’s operating loss of $83.3m (£66m) for the same period.
Net loss for the current period was down 5% to $58.5m, compared to a net loss in the prior year period of $61.3m (£48m). Meanwhile the impact of foreign exchange on the company’s international businesses resulted in a $2.6m (£2m) reduction in revenues for that division compared to 2019.
Richard Robinson, Scholastic chairman, president and c.e.o., said that during this period its “trade titles and series remained on the top of best-seller lists” with top performing books including Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls and Tui Sutherland’s Wings of Fire: The Poison Jungle.
Robinson spoke overall of a “continued strength in series publishing across age groups and categories, including chapter/middle grade, Graphix [its graphic novels imprint] and YA”.
Of the publisher’s new projects, he said he was encouraged by responses to Scholastic Literacy, its new approach to core literacy instruction, alond with higher billings year-over-year for its new education digital subscription products.
He added: “We are on track with the digital transformation of our book clubs business to shift more parents and students to online ordering and are fortifying our position as the premier book fairs operator in the US, where our brand recognition, 58 regional distribution outlets, and breadth of product offerings will enable us to hold a projected 120,000 fairs this year. We have also established a rigorous process to improve operating margins through cost management and Scholastic 2020 technology-informed methods and process improvement initiatives in procurement, warehousing, and shipping. While it is still too early to comment on the full impact of these efforts, we expect to provide further details over the course of the fiscal year – our 99th year serving schools and students.”