John Wiley &Sons has reported strong results halfway through fiscal 1999. For the six months ended October 31, 1998, net income rose 44.5% to $19.8 million on a 7.7% increase in revenues to $245.7 million.

Company president William Pesce attributed the improvement in the first half to double-digit sales gains in Wiley's college and professional and trade divisions as well as to growth in its STM operations. The only glitch in the first half of fiscal '99 was the economic downturn in Asia, which has adversely affected revenues to that region, as well as the effects of the weakened Canadian and Australian currencies.

During the second quarter, Wiley made two niche purchases, acquiring the health publisher Chronimed as well as Hewin International, a publisher of reports in the chemistry field.