Courier reported that both fourth quarter and full-year sales rose 3 percent, at $68.4 million and $257.1 million respectively, but weakness in the home improvement market led to yet another writedown at their Creative Homeowner publishing unit. They took a $4.7 million non-cash impairment charge due to “the systemic problems it currently faces in the home improvement market,” bringing fourth quarter net income down to $1.1 million.
The publishing division had sales of $11.9 million in the fourth quarter, even with a year ago, as a 6 percent increase at Dover was negated by a 23 percent decline at Creative Homeowner. For the year, publishing sales of $46 million were down 2 percent (or $800,000) from a year go. CEO James F. Conway III said in the release, “Given the adverse retail environment, we were happy to see Dover sales rise as well as they did, helped by children’s books as well as direct-to-consumer, online and international sales…. For the last two years we have aggressively reduced costs at Creative Homeowner as that market has contracted.”
Hastings Entertainment announced third quarter sales yesterday of $112.3 million, basically flat, with a slightly improved net loss of $3.1 million. New book sales suffered, declining 9.3 percent, as used and value book sales rose 7.8 percent. Overall same-store book sales were down 6.2 percent. The company says the declines are “to some degree attributable to the increasing popularity of electronic book readers, and decreased sales of magazines.” They add that
“electronic book readers are impacting new book sales, but we have positioned ourselves to soften this impact through offering a variety of used and value books at price points that resonate well with our customers.”