HarperCollins sales up 11% in fourth quarter

HarperCollins sales up 11% in fourth quarter

HarperCollins achieved an 11% rise in revenues in the fourth quarter of 2016, although annual results were hampered by lower e-book sales and negative foreign currency fluctuations.

For the three months ending 30th June, HarperCollins achieved an 11% rise in revenues to $433m (£333.5m) and a 52% increase in ebitda to $50m (£38.5m).

News Corp, HarperCollins’ parent company, said the strong fourth quarter was thanks to the popularity of front-list titles such as The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, The Rainbow Comes and Goes by Anderson Cooper and The World’s Worst Children by David Walliams, as well as a $19m (£14.6m) impact from the additional week in the quarter. Digital sales accounted for 19% of its book revenues.

However, full-year results for fiscal 2016 were down 1% to $1.6bn (£1.2bn), compared to fiscal 2015, because of lower revenues from Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, lower e-book sales and negative foreign currency fluctuations.

HarperCollins’ ebitda for the year was down 16% to $185m (£142.5m).

However, highlights of the year included the release of Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, which is published by HarperCollins in the US, and the inclusion of Harlequin, which the company acquired in 2014.

News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson said: “We ended fiscal year 2016 with strong results in the fourth quarter, highlighted by robust year-over-year growth in revenues and ebitda at digital real estate services and an upturn at HarperCollins.

“Over the past year, we made clear progress on our primary goals – to become more digital and more global…. Book publishing ended the year strongly, highlighting our ability to leverage quality content across both print and digital platforms.”

News Corp’s overall revenues rose 5% to $2.2bn (£1.7bn) in the fourth quarter, whilst ebitda was $361m (£278m), up from $215m (£166m) in the prior year. Revenues from its news and information division, which includes the Times and the Sun, rose 1% to $1.42bn (£1.09bn).