Led by gains in its educational technology and trade book segments, revenue for the first quarter ended August 31 rose 14% at Scholastic, to $315.6 million. The first quarter loss from continuing operations was cut to $24.6 million from $42.9 million, while the net loss was reduced to $23 million from $49.1 million. Chairman Dick Robinson said the results keep the publisher on track to achieve “significantly higher” earnings for the full year.
In the children’s book publishing & distribution segment, total revenue rose 25%, to $76.2 million, led by a 25% increase in the trade segment which benefitted from sales of the paperback edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and the release of the fifth title in the 39 Clues series. The Hunger Games also continued to sell well. Sales through book clubs rose 46%, while book fair sales fell 7%; the first quarter represents a small portion of revenue for clubs and fairs.
In educational publishing, revenue increased 29%, to $148.7 million, with sales of educational technology, including Scholastic’s READ 180 program, rising by $35 million as Federal stimulus money began finding its way to schools. Sales to classroom libraries was flat in the quarter.
International sales fell to $75.6 million from $84.1 million due mainly to $7.6 million in foreign exchange losses. The company is moving ahead with plans to restructure its U.K. division and said one-time costs associated with the reorganization will range from $7 million to $10 million. Sales in the media/licensing/advertising segment fell 6%, to $15.1 million, due to lower sales of interactive products through retail channels.