Torstar book publishing revenues drop $5.1m

Harlequin Mills & Boon parent company Torstar has reported book publishing revenues were down $5.1m (£3.2m) in 2011 compared to 2010, with operating profit also falling by $2.9m from $83.7m (£52.6m) in 2010 to $81.8m (£51.4m) in 2011.

According to Torstar's annual results, book publishing revenues were down $5.1m in 2011, excluding the impact of foreign exchange and acquisitions. Operating revenue fell from $468.1m in 2010 to $459.4m, and EBITDA in the segment was down $2m.

In the fourth quarter, book publishing revenues were down $2.3m, with digital revenue growth reported as not offsetting declines in the print businesses, particularly in the overseas market. However, EBITDA grew by $3.3m in the fourth quarter for Harlequin, including $0.7m of negative earnings impact from foreign exchange.

Overall, Torstar revenue was $1,548.7m in 2011, up from $1,483.76m in 2010.  Torstar corporation president David Holland said: "We are very pleased with our fourth quarter operating results . . . We felt it was a solid performance considering the $6.4m in negative earnings impact from the strong Canadian dollar, the economic environment and the increased level of investment in the media business particularly in digital."

He added: "We close 2011 in a strong financial position with net borrowings of $153.3m . . . At Harlequin, operating earnings excluding the exchange impact were exceptionally strong in 2011, growing by 0.6%, the fifth consecutive year of underlying earnings growth.

"We expect it will be challenging to achieve a similar level of earnings in 2012 given the economic situation in Europe and an increase in the royalty rates on digital sales."