Nelson Continues to Lift Harper's Results

News Corp. reported results for their fourth quarter and full fiscal year, ending June 30. HarperCollins had sales of $329 million and EBITDA of $22 million in the fourth quarter (derived from the annual report), and for the full year, they recorded sales of $1.369 billion and EBITDA of $142 million. That compares to sales of $1.189 billion and EBITDA of $86 million in fiscal 2012.

All but $5 million of the sales gain was attributed to the acquisition of Thomas Nelson (which accounted for $172 million in sales). And $27 million of the EBITDA gain came from Nelson as well. Another $25 million of the earnings boost simply reflected the absence of any further major payouts in the ebook pricing settlements. Earnings were impaired by $13 million "related to the Australian and Canadian operations and the decision to exit the third party distribution business in the US." (To our knowledge, that's the first public statement that the company has left the distribution business here.)

The significant lift from Nelson brings Harper's results close to where the company was in fiscal 2008 prior to the recession, when they reported sales of $1.388 billion and operating income of $160 million.

Here, for the record, are the quarterly breakouts for the fiscal year (showing sales and EBITDA):

Q4:    $329 million    $22 million
Q3:    $311 million    $29 million
Q2:    $377 million    $51 million
Q1:    $352 million    $40 million

The 10-K also serves as a helpful reminder that a Canada Competition Bureau inquiry into ebook pricing is still ongoing, as are class action suits in Canada over the same issue.