Net income at Courier Corp. rose 34.3%, to $2.9 million, in the second quarter ended March 30, 2002, despite a 3% decline in sales, to $48.5 million. The company attributed the higher earnings to improved productivity and cost controls. Revenues at Courier's largest segment, book manufacturing, fell 7.3%, to $40.5 million, but sales at Dover Publications rose 30.8%, to $8.8 million, and the publishing unit had operating income of $901,000, compared to a $324,000 loss in last year's second quarter.

Continued softness in education and trade publishing sales, down 4% and 18%, respectively, offset a 5% sales increase in the religion category. Despite the decline in the period, Courier chairman James Conway III said that business in the manufacturing segment "appears to be on the track to recovery." The company noted that declines in the trade and education segments were lower in the most recent quarter than in the first period. Conway added that "many of our book manufacturing customers report that they expect a busier summer, with inventories down and consumer demand rising."

At Dover, sales were boosted by a 27% increase in international orders and a 19% increase in direct-to-consumer orders. Dover's Web site marked its first anniversary March 6, and during the year the site took 40,000 orders and sold 350,000 books, bringing in revenues of $1.4 million. The company is preparing to launch a B2B site to reach Dover's retail customers. Conway predicted that Dover will post double-digit gains in both sales and earnings for the year.

For the six-month period, sales at Dover were up 13.7%, to $17.4 million, while manufacturing revenues were down 12.3%, to $78.8 million.