Press Release: Scholastic Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2015 Results
Children's Book Publishing and Distribution. Segment revenue in the first quarter was $54.7 million, compared to $54.6 million in the prior year period. Trade revenues were bolstered by strong frontlist titles including the Minecraft handbook series, in which the third book Combat was shipped during the quarter, Sisters by Raina Telgemeier, the 11th book in the successful Captain Underpants series, Star Wars: Jedi Academy (Book 2), and the multi-platform Spirit AnimalsTM. The performance of these titles was more than offset by lower sales of The Hunger Games trilogy, as anticipated, and Harry Potter, which had strong sales in the prior year period when paperback editions featuring new cover art were released. Although this is the smallest revenue quarter for the segment's school channels, the Company showed a $2.2 million, or 35% increase over prior year in book clubs, driven by higher orders and revenue per order, and a $1.1 million, or 10% increase in its book fair operations from higher revenue per fair. The seasonal operating loss for the segment improved to $60.5 million, from $61.5 million a year ago, primarily as a result of lower book clubs operating costs.
Educational Technology and Services. Segment revenue for the first quarter was $89.4 million, compared to $94.8 million in the prior year period, a 6% decrease, primarily reflecting lower sales of the Company's reading technology programs and its Common Core Code X curriculum print product, which sold over $4 million in the first quarter of last year, including a major sale which was not repeated this year. These declines were partially offset by improved sales of the Company's math products, in both print and digital offerings, including Do The Math®, MATH 180®, and Scholastic Math Inventory (SMI), the Company's computer-adaptive math assessment program. Segment operating income declined 16% to $30.3 million, compared to $36.2 million in the prior year period, due to lower revenues and higher amortization expense in the current year period.