Blaming the “unfavourable effect” of the transition to higher digital royalty rates for authors, as well as the tough overall global economy, Harlequin reported revenues of $102.5 million for the first quarter of 2013, down $4.1 million from the same period in 2012. Harlequin’s operating profit for the period was $14.9 million. Despite lower first quarter revenue, David Holland, President and CEO of Torstar Corporation, Harlequin’s parent company, said the transition to higher digital royalties will cease to be a factor in the second half of the year. Holland added that he expected Harlequin’s overall 2013 performance to be comparable to 2012.

Holland said that overall North American retail print and digital revenues were stable in the first quarter. Harlequin is expected to benefit from an increase in consumer prices for certain North American product lines. In addition, Harlequin is “anticipated” to realize $2.2 million in savings in 2013 from “restructuring initiatives” taken through the end of the first quarter of 2013.