Sales in the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt trade group fell 5% in the second quarter ended June 30, 2014, dropping to $37.3 million from $39.2 million in the second quarter of 2013.
The unit, which had an operating loss of $1.7 million, compared to operating income of $446,000 in last year’s second quarter, was still dealing with the strong sales last year of a number of movie tie-ins, including Life of Pi and The Hobbit. Frontlist sales were also down.
HMH said it expects the release of the film adaptation of The Giver to lift sales of Lois Lowry's novel in the third quarter and, possibly, into the holiday season. The film opens August 14 and the book and Lowry have been mentioned often in the publicity for the movie.
For the first half of 2014 revenue in the trade group was down 12%, to $69.3 million, and the division had an operating loss of $6.9 million. These losses were matched with income of $2.9 million in the first six months of 2013.
For the entire company, second quarter sales rose 11% to $401.9 million and HMH posted net income of $11.5 million compared to a loss of $14.3 million in the second quarter of 2013.