S&S sales rise in first quarter

S&S sales rise in first quarter

Simon & Schuster's worldwide revenues rose to $170m in the three months to the end of March, up from $164m in the same quarter in 2019, parent company ViacomCBS has reported. 

The first annual quarter results showed an increase of 16% in the publisher's digital sales.

C.e.o. Carolyn Reidy said adult books were up 8% in the quarter while children’s publishing dropped “a little", while the international units were "down double digits" after quarantine affected orders, Publishers Marketplace reported.

The company's adjusted OIBDA  (operating income before depreciation and amortisation) was flat at $19m.

Sales were assisted by bringing forward two major titles, including Jennifer Weiner's Big Summer and If it Bleeds by Stephen King. 

The publisher's second quarter performance is ongoing, and the company is optimistic. "What is most heartening is that it’s down less than we thought would happen. Clearly the book reading market is there, and will find these books,” Reidy told Publishers Marketplace. She added the company "could have envisioned being down a third [in] sales, and that’s not what we’re seeing. I find that heartening and actually very positive.”

A ViacomCBS executive has said the company still in the process of preparing S&S for sale, and is "encouraged by the significant interest", with the sale expected to proceed after the pandemic.