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Scholastic holds up in second quarter

It seems that New York-based publisher Scholastic has been holding its own in the face of economic pressures.
December 17, 2009

It seems that New York-based publisher Scholastic has been holding its own in the face of economic pressures.

Revenue for the quarter saw a slight uptick of 1% to US$660.1 million from US$653.3 million in the same period last year. The educational publishing segment saw the biggest rise, increasing by 35% to US$122.6 million from US$91.0 million in Q2 2009, thanks to an almost 100% (more than US$25 million) increase in sales of educational technology and related services, with its READ 180 and System 44 delivering more than 100% growth combined, while math products and consulting services also saw big gains.

In the children’s book publishing and distribution segment, operating income went up 3% to US$107.8 million as compared to US$105.1 million in the prior year period, and segment revenue saw a 6% decline to US$368.8 million from $392.9 million in the same time last year.

Revenue in trade publishing dropped 5% relative to last year’s Q2, which benefited from strong Harry Potter sales. But as for this Q2, there were continued strong sales of The 39 Clues and Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, and its sequel Catching Fire, along with new titles like Shiver and How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You.

On the media, licensing and advertising front, segment revenue dropped to US$37.8 million from US$47.4 million, primarily reflecting a decrease in interactive product sales through retail channels and in ad sales, which were also partially offset by cost reductions.

But international segment revenue saw some gains, rising to US$130.9 million for the quarter compared to US$122.0 million in 2009, thanks to higher sales in Canada, Asia and Australia.

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