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Sales, Earnings Jump at HC
-- 2/14/00

Boosted by contributions from its acquisition of Morrow/Avon, HarperCollins reported huge gains in sales and earnings for the second quarter ended December 31, 1999. According to parent company News Corp., revenues at HC rose 34%, to $283 million, in the period, with operating profit jumping 111% to $38 million. Excluding results from Morrow and Avon, sales increased by more than 10% and operating earnings rose 68%. Growth was strongest in the company's religious and children's businesses.

HC president Jane Friedman told PW Zondervan has had a particularly strong first half of the year, with profits up 60%, led by Bible sales and sales of its own children's line. The growth in the HC children's group was driven by both solid frontlist and backlist sales, Friedman said. The company's strong performance is not limited to the U.S.; Friedman noted that profits in the U.K. were up by 35%. "Everywhere around the world, we're buying good books and publishing them well, while controlling costs," Friedman said. By using the same formula, she is anticipating "very strong" results in the second half of the fiscal year.

For the first six month of fiscal 2000, sales were up 34%, to $571 million, and earnings rose 75% to $70 million.
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