With parent company News Corp. reporting fourth quarter and fiscal 2012 results Wednesday, HarperCollins issued a statement saying it had “a strong fourth quarter.” Excluding legal fees associated with the lawsuits around the agency e-book pricing model, HC said earnings were up for both the quarter and the year. News Corp. noted that the HC costs included both litigation and settlement charges. Last week, Simon & Schuster reported a decline in its operating profit, but said it too would have had a solid increase in profits in the most recent quarter if not for one-time costs associated with e-book pricing lawsuits. HC didn’t comment directly on sales, noting only that the publisher “saw solid performance across all divisions.” E-book sales were approximately 14% of worldwide sales in fiscal 2012.
In a conference call with analysts, News executives said the company remains on track with its plans to split the company in two with HC joining the News’ newspaper publishing businesses and fledgling education business in a new company. First filings associated with the spinoff are expected by the end of the year with operational details to follow in 2013. More information on the education group, to be led by Joel Klein, will be released this fall, executives said, noting that News will invest $100 million in the startup which executives said aims "to build a unique education business positioned to take advantage of today's digital technologies."