Results at Harlequin improved in the third quarter ended September 30 compared to a sluggish second period, but were still down compared to the third quarter of 2010. The decline was due to unfavorable foreign exchange and excluding the impact of currency translation sales and earnings were up.

In the quarter, reported revenue fell to C$115.7 million from C$117.5, although sales would have been up C$600,000 excluding the impact of foreign exchange. Parent company Torstar said digital sales at Harlequin rose C$7.5 million in the quarter as the publisher continues to adapted to the growing demand for e-books while profits were helped by lower book returns. In the third quarter, excluding foreign exchange, North America division sales were up C$1.2 million and overseas down C$0.6 million. Harlequin operating earnings were up C$2.0 million in the third quarter excluding the impact of foreign exchange, with North America up C$3.0 million and overseas down C$1.0 million.

Harlequin’s global digital revenues were 15.8% of total revenue in the third quarter of 2011 and 14.8% for the first nine months of 2011, up from 8.0% and 7.0% in the same periods last year.

Total sales in the nine month period fell to C$341.1 million from C$348.1 million and earnings were down C$62.0 million from C$67.2 million, excluding foreign exchange. For the full year, Harlequin’s earnings are anticipated to be up slightly excluding the impact of foreign exchange.