Scholastic Corp. reported record revenues (up 12% to $334 million) and net income (up 61% to $22.4 million) in the fourth quarter of fiscal 1999, helping to create a 52% increase in earnings per share over the previous year's figures.
Chairman and CEO Richard Robinson said the fourth quarter results were fueled by the strong performance of children's books and distribution, with revenues up 21% for the quarter and 17% for the year. He cited growth in the clubs, fairs and trade and branded properties, particularly Animorphs, Dear America, I Spy and the two Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling published in the U.S. so far. Star Wars and Teletubbies licensed titles were also strong performers.
Robinson also announced increased spending on the Internet, including the creation of a comprehensive new Web site that will be "the leading school-to-home learning site for students, teachers and parents." It will be launched in the fall, available free to all users (www.scholastic.com).
Robinson offered an optimistic outlook for the coming year, referring to the expansion of Star Wars and Harry Potter titles into club, fair and home continuity channels as well as the launch of new Scholastic series like Everworld by the author of Animorphs and such licensed properties as Pokemon.
For fiscal '99, Scholastic reported a 9% increase in revenues to nearly $1.2 billion; the operating margin rose to 6.8% from 5.6%, and net income increased by 56% to $36.8 million.