The uneven nature of the country's economic recovery was reflected in second quarter sales from Courier Corp. The printer and publisher reported a dip in sales to $58.9 million for the quarter ended March 27 compared to revenue of $59.4 million in the year earlier period. Courier had net income of $1.4 million in the most recent quarter compared to a net loss of $11.2 million, a figure that includes $15.6 million in one-time charges. In a statement, Courier CEO James Conway said while the economy is better than a year ago, it is "moving only fitfully toward the sustained recovery we all want."

Sales in Courier's book manufacturing segment were flat at $49.9 million. Sales to the education market were down 2% has softness in the elhi market offset gains for college textbooks, particularly of four-color texts. Four-color work led to a 6% increase in sales to the trade, while sales in the religious segment were flat. Conway said Courier has a healthy ordering book for the second half of fiscal 2010

In publishing, second quarter sales were down 3%, to $11.7 million. REA had a 22% sales increase due to new and re-branded titles aimed at the testing marketing. Sales at Dover Publications fell 4%, and revenue at Creative Homeowner declined 14%. The drop at Creative Homeowner was attributed to continued weakness in sales to home centers and the absence of sales from the distribution arm it closed. Courier noted that sales to specialty retailers and direct-to-consumer were up in the period for Creative Homeowner. The operating loss at Creative was also cut, to $13,000 compared to a loss of $566,000 a year ago.

For the first six months of fiscal 2010, revenue rose 2.5%, to $122 million, and net income was $4.2 million compared to a loss of $10.5 million in the first half of fiscal 2009. Total sales for the year are expected to be between $255 million and $262 million with earnings per share between 80 cents and $1.00; last year EPS was 86 cents per share, excluding charges and revenue was $248.8 million.