Harry Potter helps drive Scholastic revenue up 48%

Revenue increases were led by the trade division’s strong sales of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and by a boom in book publishing and distribution.
September 22, 2016

Harry Potter is continuing to pay off for Scholastic, which saw revenue rise 48% to the tune of  US$282.7 million during the first quarter of fiscal 2017.

The increase was led by the global publishing, education and media company’s trade division sales of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two, which is the eighth story in the Harry Potter franchise.

Revenue increases were also reported in children’s book publishing and distribution (up to US$137.8 million from US$67.7 million), education (up to US$55.2 million from US$50.4 million) and international (up to US$89.7 million from US$73.1 million).

In addition to the strong performance of Cursed Child, trade sales for children’s book publishing and distribution were bolstered by new releases like Dog Man by Dav Pilkey, as well as by the fourth book in the Star Wars: Jedi Academy series, A New Class.

In education, sales gains in classroom books—including guided reading programs and classroom magazines—contributed to a strong performance.

International businesses, especially in the major markets of Canada and Australia/New Zealand, buoyed trade revenue. In Canada, particularly, the new Harry Potter title drove strong top-line growth.

Operating losses for the first quarter sat at US$63.1 million, a 21% improvement over last year’s loss of US$79.5 million. Scholastic reports it typically records a loss in the fiscal first quarter, as most US schools are not in session.

Scholastic affirmed its fiscal 2017 outlook for total revenue of between US$1.7 billion and US$1.8 billion. Moving forward, Scholastic plans to capitalize on the release of the upcoming film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them through licensed publishing related to the film and the original Harry Potter movies.

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