IDG Books released its first numbers last week since its initial public offering in July. Revenues for the fiscal year ended September 30, 1998, were $141.5 million, up 17% from $120.7 million in 1997. Net income in the year jumped 45% to $10.2 million. Growth in the year was led by IDG's technology group, in which sales increased 33.8%. Sales in the Dummies series rose 9.3%.

"The numbers are exactly what we had anticipated when we went public, and the company is very happy about them," said IDG's director of public relations, Mimi Sells.

IDG will be launching a new For Dummies series concentrating on health; the first two titles, Alternative Health for Dummies and Herbal Remedies for Dummies, are expected to appear in stores by December. In 1999, IDG plans to bring out a total of 400 titles (both new and revised editions), more than 200 of which will be in the Dummies series.

For the Christmas season, the company has developed a freestanding magazine called Dummies World: A Fun and Easy Guide to the Holidays, which will be inserted in 10 different newspaper markets around the country on Sunday, Dec. 6. Conceived in-house, the magazine "will provide a flavor of what the Dummies experience is all about," according to Sells. The magazine will appear in such newspapers as the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle.

The company has also signed a licensing agreement with Pressman Toys to bring out a For Dummies series of games, such as Trivia, Charades and Crosswords. Pressman, which is responsible for production and distribution, is also underwriting a $1.5-million ad campaign for the games, including spots on TV.

Jack H ft Named to Board

IDG has also named two new members to its board of directors: Jack H ft, former chairman of Bantam Doubleday Dell and now a member of the Random House supervisory board, and Lawrence Levy, executive v-p and chief financial officer of Pixar Animation Studios.