Higher sales in its trade, Pocket Books and children's divisions fueled a 12% revenue increase at Simon & Schuster for the second quarter ended June 30, 2001. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 8%, to $9.2 million.

S&S president Jack Romanos said he was "pleased to get off to this kind of start, particularly given the soft AAP numbers." He added, however, that S&S still needs a strong second half of the year to have a good 2001. Romanos attributed the second-quarter gains to a stronger frontlist than in 2000, led by John Adams (which has grossed sales of $10 million), On the Street Where You Live and Temptation. And when much of the industry is bemoaning high returns, Romanos said S&S has enjoyed improved sell-through across its distribution channels, including the ID market. "That's really helped the bottom line," Romanos noted.

The publisher is also nearing the end of completely uncoupling itself from the divested Simon & Schuster educational and professional publishing infrastructure. Romanos told PW he expects new information systems and technology functions to be installed by week's end. "We'll be in control of these systems again and will have the opportunity to make upgrades," he said.

For the first six months of the year, sales were up 10%, to $271.3 million, with EBITDA ahead 68%, to $11.4 million.