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IBI Has Plan for Profitability
-- 6/8/98
After a slow start at the beginning of 1998, when first-quarter sales fell to $1.2 million from $2.1 million and net loss increased to $463,326 from $413,083, Intervisual Books Inc. president Waldo Hunt said that to help achieve profitability in the year, "a plan has been activated with the objective of reducing operational and administrative overhead through the balance of the year." According to a company spokesperson, the program involves looking at running the company more efficiently, but d s not include layoffs. As of March 27, IBI had 38 full-time employees.
Company president Norm Sheinman attributed the weak first quarter to attempts by IBI to self-publish more of its titles; in 1998 the company plans to release 38 of its own titles. In addition, first-quarter sales to Japan and Hong Kong fell $425,000, due to the Asian economic recession. The recession, however, may help IBI in the long run as the company benefits from lower manufacturing prices that will permit it to offer discounts on certain titles. Additional sales are expected in the fourth quarter, when IBI ships the first titles under its licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Worldwide Publishing, which calls for IBI to publish interactive Looney Tunes books featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Sylvester.

Looking back at 1997, when sales totaled $18 million, IBI noted that 52% of its sales came from international markets, while the U.S. represented 48% of sales. In 1997, IBI sold books to 109 different publishers in 25 countries. During the last year, three publishers, Simon &Schuster, the Penguin Group and Dainippon, represented 31% of total sales.
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