Publishing revenue at Marvel Entertainment was flat in the second quarter, slipping from $31.8 million to $31.7 million. Operating income fell more noticeably, dropping 6.8%, to $10.9 million. A lower level of high-margin advertising and custom publishing sales was cited as the reason for the decline in earnings. For the first six months of 2009, sales in the publishing segment fell 1.4%, to $57.5 million, and operating income declined 17.1%, to $17.9 million. The company said it expects the publishing segment to finish 2009 with revenue between $115 million and $120 million; in 2008 sales were $125.4 million.

Although sales for the entire company were, as expected, behind 2008 for the six-month period, Marvel raised the low end of its full-year guidance, which now calls for total revenue to be at least $465 million compared to an earlier forecast of $450 million, while operating income will be at least $95 million, up from a forecast of $86 million.