Top US/UK Trade Talk: HarperCollins, S&S Profits Plunge

In Global Trade Talk, News by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

Scary…HarperCollins, saw “profits at the worldwide business collapsed from $160m to $17m,” according to The Bookseller — nearly a 90% drop. Blame was laid on the collapse of distributors Anderson News in the US and Entertainment UK and Woolworths in the UK. Results for the UK publishing division were not broken out of the results, but in the US,  HarperCollins “ended a difficult year on a down note, posting an operating loss of $4 million on a 20.6% decline in revenue, to $278 million in the fourth quarter ended June 30,” revealed Jim Milliot in Publishers Weekly.

“After a very bad first quarter, sales for the first six months of 2009 were down 11.4%, to $343.1 million, while profits fell 76%, to $8.2 million,” said PW its report on S&S’s second quarter earnings. S&S’s CEO Caroline Reidy said that as a consequence of the difficult year, S&S is becoming more conservative with acquisitions. “You have to know exactly how you are going to publish each book,” and “publish each book correctly,” she said.

Though it’s not strictly trade news, the trailer for Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Alice Sebold’s runaway 2001 bestseller The Lovely Bones has just been posted online. It looks promising.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.