Licensing revenue once again helped to boost sales at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media group. Total revenue was up $3 million, or 8%, over the second quarter ended June 30, 2018, to $39.1 million.
Licensing revenue tied to the Carmen Sandiego series on Netflix contributed $2 million to the gain. In addition to the licensing revenue, HMH said sales in both the adult and young readers divisions rose over 2018, led by Maybe You Should Talk to Someone and Weber’s Ultimate Grilling.
Despite the sales increase, the net loss for the group rose to $5.4 million, from $3.4 million in last year’s second quarter. The bigger loss was attributed to higher cost of goods sold.
The company’s education division had its best second quarter since it became a public company, HMH said. Sales rose almost 9%, to $349.8 million, over the second quarter of 2018. HMH attributed the improvement to higher net sales from its core educational products as well as good results from Heinemann. Higher costs of sales led to a net loss of $1.5 million from continuing operations, compared to earnings of $11.1 million a year ago.
The strong revenue performance in the quarter prompted HMH to raise its financial guidance for the full year. It now expects billings for the year to be between $1.53 billion and $1.61 billion, up from $1.49 billion to $1.59 billion last year.
In prepared remarks, Joe Abbott, chief financial officer of HMH, noted that the publisher's "Core Solutions billings growth accelerated in the second quarter as our customers began submitting orders for our new core programs. We are encouraged by our selling performance in Texas and nationally and expect the strength to continue with a substantial backlog of orders to be shipped in the second half of 2019."