The worldwide recession took its toll on 2009 results for the Quarto Group, with total revenue down 5%, to £106.6 million ($160 million), and operating income off 10%, to £10.2 million. Given the difficult economic conditions, chairman Laurence Orbach said he was satisfied with results and expects some improvement in 2010. In Quarto's publishing group, sales were flat at £70.1 million, while sales in the co-edition business fell 15%, to £36.5 million.

Although based in London, Quarto does business throughout the world, and the U.S. is by far its largest market, generating sales of £52.2 million last year, down slightly from the £54.7 million in 2008. After several acquisitions earlier in the decade, the most recent that of Motorbooks International in 2007, Quarto focused on consolidating the back-office operations of its American holdings, which operate under the Quayside Publishing Group banner. With the consolidation in the U.S. largely completed, Orbach said he is hopeful about making an acquisition in 2010, preferably in the U.S. or U.K. The company will also continue to move cautiously into the digital market.

Fair Winds & Quiver

Will Kiester, publisher
The imprints finished 2009 14% ahead of budget with the biggest gains coming from Costco and BJ's. Jonny Bowden's nutrition titles led the way and Quiver's illustrated Position Sex Bible also sold well.

Voyageur Press

Michael Dregni, publisher
Sales were off in all areas, with backlist particularly weak. Sales of railroad and tractor books were also very soft. The music area held up reasonably well, and Voyageur will up its title output from six annually to eight to 10.

MVP Books

Josh Leventhal, publisher
The imprint published 11 titles in its first year. While MVP focuses on illustrated histories of sports teams, the un-illustrated Ultimate Super Bowl Book sold the most units, despite shipping in November.

Quarry & CPi Lifestyles

Winnie Prentiss, publisher
Performed above expectations led by 101 Dog Tricks and its core craft titles.

CPi Home Improvement

Bryan Trandem, publisher
With housing in a deep slump, sales of home improvement titles fell 20%, with only slight improvement seen in 2010. Value-priced books derived from previously published works had some success.


Zack Miller, publisher
Reduction in shelf space at Barnes & Noble and Borders in the transportation category and a plunge in motorcycle sales resulted in declines in backlist and frontlist sales, though there was some improvement over the holidays. Title output was cut by 10% and prices capped at $40. Foreign-language sales grew.

Zenith Press

Bryan Trandem, publisher
After disappointing sales in 2007 and 2008, Zenith saw improvement in 2009 as it broadened its base beyond its core scholarly military history titles into such areas as politics, current events, biography, and science. This year will include more expansion of books with popular appeal.

Rockport Publishers

Winnie Prentiss, publisher
Sales of its professional titles fell as revenue in North America was flat and sales from licensees and foreign-language sales declined. Rockport is shifting some of its focus from the professional to academic markets.

Walter Foster

Ross Sarracino, CEO
The imprint cut expenses in the year by outsourcing its warehouse operations and had some success in new areas, in particular publishing an art instruction title for the trade market.

Book Sales

Mel Shapiro, president
The remainder company had a slight sales increase in the year and improved profits thanks in part to savings from the consolidation of Quayside's back-office functions.

Quayside Distribution Services

Jeff Servais, president
QDS added three distribution clients for all markets in 2009, and another six publishers with distribution into the specialty retail marketplace. It anticipates adding an additional three full-market publishers this year.