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Sales Soar 43% at Prima Communications
Jim Milliot -- 3/6/00

Prima Communications reported late last month that sales rose 43%, to $87 million, in 1999, the second consecutive year in which revenue gains topped 40%.

Ben Dominitz, chairman, founder and CEO of the privately held company, called 1999 "a pivotal year" in Prima's growth. According to Dominitz, the publisher not only posted a strong increase in its core book business, but added revenues from the launch of two Web sites, www.primagames.com and www.thenaturalpharmacist. com. International sales also contributed to the gain, with revenues up in the U.K., Germany and France. In addition to the strong revenue performance, Dominitz said he was pleased with the increased brand awareness of Prima. "We are rapidly realizing our goal of becoming a worldwide, multi-language, multibrand, multi-channel content company," he told PW.

Prima published a total of 300 titles last year and plans to increase that to 400 in 2000. Among its bestsellers in 1999 were The Natural health Bible, a series of Pokemon books, Online Auctions at eBay and Electronic Day Trading Made Easy.

To help accelerate its growth, Prima named Alice Feinstein as editorial director of the company's lifestyle group. Before joining Prima, Feinstein had been executive health editor at Meredith Corp. At Prima, Feinstein will oversee the company's consumer-oriented reference works, including both Prima Lifestyles and Prima Health titles.

Feinstein succeeds Steven Martin, who will now devote himself full-time to expanding Prima's Forum Book imprint. Devoted to publishing serious nonfiction works, Forum has had a hit with The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire by Brian Crozier and expects big things from the upcoming Let Us Talk of Many Things by William F. Buckley Jr.

Both Martin, who is Forum Books publisher, and Feinstein will report directly to Dominitz.

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