Revenues at Intervisual Books Inc. rose 31% to $1.5 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 1999, and the company trimmed its net loss to $383,377 from $463,326 in the same period the previous year.

Company president Norm Sheinman said results from the first period "are an encouraging sign that we're moving in the right direction." The company's overhead costs were cut by about 10% as the publisher reduced its workforce from 38 full-time employees to 27.

According to the company's 10-K filing with the Securities &Exchange Commission, IBI released 53 new titles last year, with an average print run of 45,000 copies. The U.S. accounted for 56% of IBI sales in 1998, with the balance coming from international markets, mainly in Europe. The company's largest customer, accounting for 13% of its sales in 1998, was the Penguin Group.

Backlist titles continued to generate more than half of the publisher's annual revenues, representing 63% of sales in 1998, up from 53% in 1997. Among the company's bestselling books are Choo Choo Charlie, which sold more than 550,000 copies during the last two years, and The Haunted House, which has sold more than 1.2 million copies. IBI's electronic books have sold about 3.3 million copies to date.

IBI continued to build its self-publishing program last year, adding 49 titles, 13 of which were newly developed in 1998.