HarperCollins Sales Fall
Despite reports of increased earnings in nearly all of New Corp.’s properties, first quarter profits for its its book publishing unit declined.
HarperCollins reported first quarter operating income of $55 million, a decrease of $15 million versus the same period a year ago that included strong sales of several key titles. The decline occured despite having 33 books on The New York Times bestseller list, including two books that reached the No. 1 spot. However, News Corp., as a whole, saw an $843 profit.
Although Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp. did not directly address HarperCollins, his comments showed an increased push for growth in new media.
“We have also begun to capitalize on the rapid growth at our new media assets, where News Corporation Web sites now rank second in the U.S. in total page views and fifth in unique visitors. Our recently announced landmark deal with Google for textual search is expected to generate $900 million over three and a half years, signifying our ability to monetize our traffic in ways that make sense for our audience and quickly moving our new media properties toward profitability.”
News Corp.’s other publishing units-—including newspaper and magazine holdings-—remained relatively flat.