Sales rebounded somewhat at HarperCollins in the parent company News Corp.’s fiscal third quarter, ending March 31, with revenues of $374 million. That’s a $16 million gain from the same quarter a year ago, though that was a poor period for Harper; in the same quarter in fiscal 2015 sales were $402 million. And $7 million of the quarter’s gain came from the impact of international acquisitions. In the conference call with investors, executives admitted that sales of Veronica Roth’s Carve the Mark, while a contributor to the quarter, “were off to a slower start than anticipated.” In the coming quarter, though Harper has new releases from Michael Crichton and David Williams, they “will have fewer frontlist titles [of note] than the prior year.”
EBITDA did not bounce back as much, at $37 million — compared to $36 million a year ago, and $56 million in the same quarter two years ago. Digital sales comprised 22 percent on revenues.
News Corp. had overall sales of $1.98 billion, up from $1.89 billion in the prior year, and they were break-even on continuing operations, compared to ($128) million loss in the prior year. Results were ahead of analysts’ expectations and the stock rose after hours as a result.