HarperCollins saw both sales and earnings increase, in the low single digits, in the quarter ended March 31. Revenue rose 4% in the quarter, to $374 million, while EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) increased 3%, to $37 million.
HC parent company News Corp said gains in the quarter, which is the third period in the company’s fiscal year ending June 30, were led by strong sales from the general adult group where Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly and Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance led the way.
In the children's group, Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth gave a lift to sales. Despite the boost, News said initial sales were lower than expected.
The publisher's expansion of its foreign language business drove international sales gains, News reported. Company CEO Robert Thomson said he also sees the potential for more growth overseas. He told analysts, in a conference call discussing HC's third quarter results, that the continuing strength and expertise of HarperCollins Christian Publishing "should lead to increased business in Latin America, where the Evangelical movement is particularly influential."
On the digital front, sales increased 7% in the quarter, compared to the same period last year, led by gains in digital audiobooks. Digital sales represented 22% of consumer revenue in the quarter.
For the first nine months of fiscal 2017, EBITDA at HC rose 19% over the first nine months of fiscal 2016, reaching $160 million on just a 1% increase in revenue, to $1.23 billion.