In “trading updates” issued last Friday in the U.K., Pearson reported that Penguin had a “good start” to the year, while Quarto Group reported that first quarter sales fell 6%, to $32 million and operating profit fell to $544,000 from $666,000.

Pearson had little more to say in the update other than claiming that Penguin gained market share in all “key” territories in the quarter. It noted that as approvals for the Penguin, Random House deal continue to come in, it expects the merger to be completed “early” in the second half of 2013.

At Quarto, revenue for the Quayside Publishing Group in the U.S. was up 6% in the quarter, while sales in the Aurum Publishing Group in the U.K. were up 1% compared to the prior year. Sales in other Quarto segments were down principally due “to the phasing of our order books,” Quarto said, adding that results are in line with expectations.