Higher revenues combined with lower expenses—including a $315,000 reduction in research costs related to the eBookman—resulted in net income of $157,000 in the first quarter, compared to a loss of $2 million in last year's first period at Franklin Electronic Publishers. Company president Barry Lipsky said that with the strong showing of its core operations in the quarter, he expects Franklin to have a profitable fiscal 2003. Including write-offs, Franklin lost $26.6 million in fiscal 2002.
Sales were led by an 18% rise in sales in its core reference e-book line, and total revenues at Franklin rose 3.1%, to $16.5 million, for the first quarter of fiscal 2003 ended June 30. Sales of reference products were nearly $14 million in the period, up from $11.9 million in the comparable period in fiscal 2002, and the increase was enough to offset a decline in eBookman sales from $2.2 million to $190,000. Franklin is phasing out the unprofitable eBookman. Sales of its Rolodex product line held even in the quarter, at $1.9 million.